This week, Tinnus Enterprises, LLC and Zuru Ltd. filed a suit in U.S. Federal Court against Telebrands Corp. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. alleging infringement of U.S. Patent 9,051,066. In case number 6:15-cv-00551 filed in the Eastern District of Texas, the plaintiffs allege that Telebrands’ product Balloon Bonanza, sold by Bed Bath and Beyond, infringes the patent recently issued to Tinnus for Bunch O Balloons.
The plaintiffs state in the complaint that in early 2014, Josh Malone invented a product that fills and seals 37 balloon at once, and then he launched Bunch O Balloons on crowdfunding giant Kickstarter last summer, which raised almost $1 million while garnering widespread media coverage.
They further claim that Malone assigned the ‘066 patent to his company Tinnus, who in turn granted exclusive rights to Zuru. The complaint also alleges that Telebrands “engaged in a scheme to copy and mimic the extremely successful Bunch O Balloons product,” and continued to market an infringing product in spite of Zuru’s cease and desist letters. Tinnus and Zuru have asked the court to issue an injunction and award of triple damages for willful infringement, among other forms of relief.
Speaking about the situation and to the defendants, Malone told Crowdfund Insider:
“I was stunned and shocked when I saw on Telebrands’ infomercial last Christmas, then just this past weekend my kids and I saw it in Toys R Us and Target!”
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