Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT AWARDS $4.55 MILLION IN DAMAGES TO HUMAN TOUCH® IN TRADEMARK/TRADE DRESS INFRINGEMENT ACTION

Long Beach, CA – September 17, 2008Human Touch®, the leading brand of high-performance, design-oriented massage chairs for today’s modern and traditional living spaces, announced today that a U.S. District Court jury awarded $4.55 million in damages to the company in its trademark/trade dress infringement and unfair competition action brought against American Lighting Industry, Inc for intentional infringement of Human Touch’s trademarks and trade dress as it relates to its Human Touch massage products and technology. The jury also awarded Human Touch $2.8 million against co-defendant King Kong U.S.A., Inc. and $425,000 against King Kong’s president, Bernard Koay. 

The trademarks in this case all include the name Human Touch and the jury found that both federally registered and unregistered marks were valid and infringed. The jury also determined that Human Touch had protectable trade dress rights in the innovative design and overall appearance of its HTT-10 model massage chairs and that King Kong had infringed on those rights.  Defendant Koay was found to have known about, and encouraged, the infringement by King Kong. The jury held that all defendants had committed acts of unfair competition and that all defendants acted intentionally.

“Human Touch is a pioneer and leader in the development of massage technology and thus holds numerous patents and trademarks. For almost three decades, Human Touch has been developing, marketing and branding innovative technology” said Andrew Cohen, President of Human Touch. “Our retail partners, distributors and consumers know that there is a difference in the comforts and technologies of a Human Touch branded massage chair and thus we will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure that our intellectual property is protected and that retail partners and consumers are never misled by competitors.”

Attorneys David Dillard and Art Hasan led the Christie, Parker & Hale legal team that prosecuted the case. “Human Touch’s reputation and goodwill, developed over decades of hard work, are engendered in its trademarks and the unique, recognizable designs of its massage chairs,” Dillard said. “We will not allow competitors to profit by copying these valuable assets and trading off the reputation and goodwill that Human Touch enjoys with consumers and in the industry.”  

In a related action, Human Touch announced separately today that another U.S. District Court jury awarded $1.7 million in damages to the company in a patent infringement action brought against WFO Imports, LLC. In that matter, the jury validated Human Touch’s rights to U.S. Patent No. 6,629,940 (referred to as the ‘940 patent), which describes a proprietary lower leg massage technology used in the footrest portion of some Human Touch massage chairs.

About Human Touch®:

Human Touch®, the U.S. market leader of robotic massage products, offers advanced technology and designs for consumers seeking to incorporate health and wellness into their everyday routine. Appealing to back pain sufferers, sports enthusiasts, and those looking to relax from today’s hectic lifestyles, Human Touch® delivers high-quality Robotic Massage® chairs, zero gravity recliners, and other massage products that are generations ahead of the competition. Human Touch® sells products to specialty stores, fine furniture stores across the country, on-line at www.humantouch.com as well as internationally through retailers and distributors in more than 48 countries worldwide.

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