In June 2020, Hyper Ice filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to ban the importation of infringing massage guns. Hyper Ice believes that each of the 19 entities listed in the complaint (part 1, part 2, part 3) is engaged in the illegal importation of massage guns that that infringe on Hyper Ice’s patent rights (U.S. Patent No. 10,561,574, U.S. Patent No. D886,317, and U.S. Patent No. D855,822). Based on a preliminary review of the complaint, Hyper Ice has a strong case showing that, if nothing else, most of these importers are importing massage guns nearly identical to at least one of Hyper Ice’s patented designs.
As an example, consider Shenzhen Shufang E-Commerce Company’s product below in comparison to Hyper Ice’s U.S. Patent No. D855,822.
Clearly, Shenzhen Shufang’s product is nearly identical to the design depicted in Hyper Ice’s U.S. Patent No. D855,822.
While it is unfortunate that Hyper Ice is forced to file a complaint with the ITC to prevent unscrupulous competitors from infringing its patent rights, Hyper Ice was smart enough to protect its invention through the patent system. Thanks to its three patents, it will likely be successful in stopping these copycats from importing infringing products into the US.
For all of the companies out there selling consumer goods, you need to be especially in tune to the fact that copycats will rip off the most popular goods to make a quick buck. In this day and age, it is cheap and easy to produce goods overseas and sell them on popular online marketplaces. For that reason, you need to consider how you can leverage intellectual property rights to protect your business. Hat is off to Hyper Ice for doing exactly that.