A new patent infringement case was filed in the District of Rhode Island last week. Barry Blair and Norman Blier own two design patents for a kitchen utensil that holds vegetables and fruit for easy peeling, cutting and slicing, marketed under the PREP N' POP brand. The plaintiffs sell their product on QVC. As the picture shows, the product looks vaguely like a bicycle pump.
In their Complaint, the Plaintiffs allege that the defendants, a Canadian company called Media Brands Co., and its owners, have infringed the design patents by marketing an identical but inferior product under a PREP-XPRESS brand. The Complaint also alleges that in order to promote the PREP-XPRESS product, Media Brands sent out a mass e-mail containing links to a QVC video and a YOUTUBE video in which the plaintiffs can be seen demonstrating their own products. The complaint also asserts claims for federal trademark infringement, federal unfair competition, and Rhode Island state law claims for misappropriation and dilution. The case has been assigned to Judge Smith.