US Court of Appeals Rules Standard Innovention’s Adult Toy Modest


According to the International Trade Commission, Standard Innovation’s patent US 7,931,605 titled as used in their kinesiotherapy devices (that’s the CAFC term, Standard Innovation refers to the device as the We-Vibe product) is infringed by Lelo’s adult toys.

Lelo’s claims of invalidity due to obviousness were rejected.

On Appeal the Federal Circuit overturned the ITC ruling.  Since under section 337 investigations, a party can stop patent infringing products from being imported into the US if the company is shown to have made “significant investment” in the US. The Federal Circuit considered that as the components were made in China, Standard Innovention’s investment was modest.

The ruling is here.

The ruling is actually significant in that it relates to whether patents are enforceable in the US by Anton Pillar injunctions and customs seizures, etc. where the product is manufactured in China from largely off-the-shelf components.

What is the point of having a patent if you can’t enforce it?

Actually, to be fair, the patent is enforceable, or at least, there is a presumption of validity and this may be used to obtain judgement and possibly and probably preliminary injunctions. It is not, however, enforceable through the ITC.

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