U.S Patent Office Rejects We-Vibe Patent Claims in Reexamination, as Litigation Momentum Turns in Favor of LELO

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The US Patent Office (USPTO) has issued an office action in its re-examination of Bruce Murison’s We-Vibe patent.

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The US Patent Office (USPTO) has issued an office action in its re-examination of Bruce Murison’s We-Vibe patent 7,931,605. The office action rejected all of the patent claims-at-issue in the reexamination.

The USPTO’s rejection of the We-Vibe patent follows LELO’s request for ex parte reexamination, which LELO filed on October 21 2013. On November 11, 2013, the USPTO issued an order finding a “substantial question of patentability” of the We-Vibe patent.

In this office action, the USPTO has now rejected the We-Vibe patent based on several prior art references that were never considered when the patent was first examined, including at least two prior art patents (Mitchener U.S. Patent 4,574,791 and Kain U.S. Patent 5,690,603) and two prior art publications (one on a massager product called “Femipet” and one on a massager product called “Ultime”). By rejecting all of the patent claims that Standard Innovation is arguing are infringed by LELO’s Tiani and Tiani 2 Couples’ Massagers, the office action agrees with LELO’s request that these claims are not patentable in view of the prior art.

This office action is yet another step by the USPTO suggesting that the We-Vibe patent claims are invalid. Standard Innovation Corporation, the owner of the We-Vibe Patent, declined to file a patent owner statement following the USPTO’s decision ordering reexamination of their patent. The USPTO thus moved forward with the reexamination, rejecting all of the patent claims for which reexamination had been requested. Standard Innovation now has two months to file a response to the office action, addressing each of the rejections made by the patent examiner. Unless they can convince the patent examiner that the rejections are incorrect and the claims are each patentable over the cited references, the patent examiner will likely issue a final office action rejecting the claims. At which point Standard Innovation’s options become more limited as they may be forced to appeal the patent examiner’s decision.

LELO and Standard Innovation have been involved in a string of ongoing legal disputes, notably when Standard Innovation used its We-Vibe patent to block sales and imports of LELO’s couple massagers into the US in January 2013 based on a ruling by the International Trade Commission.

At the time, LELO described Standard Innovation’s action as anti-competitive and “a clear setback to the American consumer.’” LELO also publicly objected to a string of threatening emails from Standard Innovation CEO Danny Osadca warning retailers both inside and outside US territories against the sale of LELO products that “infringed their valuable intellectual property.”

LELO has consistently denied any infringement of and denied the validity of the patent claims asserted against LELO by Standard Innovation. If the USPTO rejection of Standard Innovation’s patent claims results in a final decision of invalidity of these claims, the Swedish design brand looks set to once again offer the Tiani 2, its Red-Dot Award winning massager, across the US market while strengthening its support of retailers worldwide.

About LELO
LELO is the world's leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products. On launching in 2003, LELO transformed the look, feel and function of how personal massagers were perceived, and now applies the same commitment to quality and innovation through bedroom accessories, massage oils, soy massage candles and a premium line of silk intimate apparel. LELOi AB is the Swedish company behind LELO, where offices extend from Stockholm to San Jose, from Sydney to Shanghai.


Note to Editors: All media inquiries can be directed to pr@lelo.com.

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Pamela Wadler
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