SAN JOSE, Calif.—The U.S. Patent Office has issued an office action in the ongoing patent dispute between Standard Innovation and LELO.
Standard Innovation, makers of the We-Vibe, had filed a patent infringement claim against LELO for the Tiani and Tiani 2 massagers, saying the devices infringed on We-Vibe cretor Bruce Murison’s patent 7,931,605. In the latest action, the USPTO rejected all of the patent claims at issue.
The USPTO’s rejection of the We-Vibe patent follows LELO’s request for ex parte reexamination, which LELO filed on Oct. 21 2013. On Nov. 11, 2013, the USPTO issued an order finding a “substantial question of patentability” of the We-Vibe patent, a release from LELO states.
“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”),” LELO’s statement reads. “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,” the statement continued.
Standard Innovation declined to file a patent owner statement following the USPTO’s decision ordering reexamination of their patent. The USPTO then 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 the rejections are incorrect and the claims are each patentable over the cited references, the patent examiner could issue a final office action rejecting the claims.
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 U.S. in January 2013 based on a ruling by the International Trade Commission.