Towards the end of this past summer, our Los Angeles business litigation lawyers filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the maker of a rival sleep mask. The lawsuit stems from what is known as a utility patent. Utility patents are the most common types of patents that the US Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) grants. They cover the creation of any new process or machine.
California resident James de Cordova has been selling his product, the “DreamHelmet,” since 1998. The PTO granted de Cordova a patent for the sound- and light-blocking capabilities of the DreamHelmet, which people use to fall asleep easier. The DreamHelmet is a sleep mask that uses foam to block sound and light. It works as an eye mask, pillow and earplugs and also provides neck support. De Cordova uses his PTO patent numbers on his advertisements for the DreamHelmet.
The defendants are MCG Nevada, Inc. (“MCG”) and its officers, which are based out of Nevada. MCG Nevada operates as “Sleep Master” and sells a product with that same name. MCG has been selling its Sleep Master products since 2000 and been infringing on the patents that de Cordova has in his DreamHelmet. MCG has also been engaged in false advertising, telling consumers that the Sleep Master is the only adjustable sleep mask that incorporates sound-blocking capabilities.
De Cordova has sent cease-and-desist letters to MCG and its officers, but they have ignored the letters and continued selling the Sleep Master product and falsely advertising it. De Cordova is seeking lost profits and royalties for the business that MCG has been taking from him for over a decade now. Since MCG is aware of de Cordova’s patents and chose to willfully and deliberately ignore them, if a court agrees, MCG could face additional penalties and damages for its conduct.
Do you have any experience dealing with competitors’ infringing on your patents or deliberately confusing consumers? How were you able to resolve the matter?
Klein Trial Lawyers – Los Angeles business litigation attorneys
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