Thursday, February 05th, 2009

Court Affirms $9.1 Million Award Won by Christie, Parker & Hale, LLP on Behalf of Human Touch® LLC in Trademark Infringement Case

Judge Upholds Awards Related to Marks and Patent of Leading Distributor of Robotic Massage® Chairs

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Intellectual property law firm Christie, Parker & Hale, LLP today announced a U.S. District Court Judge affirmed awards totaling $9.1 million in damages to its client, Human Touch® LLC. The awards resulted from a trademark/trade dress infringement and unfair competition action brought against KingKong USA, Inc., and American Lighting Industry, Inc., and an action against WFO Imports LLC for infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,629,940 through the sale of more than 5,000 massage chairs.

Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, affirmed awards of $4.55 million against American Lighting Industry, $2.8 million against KingKong and $1.73 million against WFO Imports.

In September a federal court jury determined that Human Touch has protectable trade dress rights in the chair which had been infringed by KingKong and American Lighting Industry, which had also intentionally committed acts of unfair competition.

The jury found that WFO Imports had infringed the patent, referred to as the “940 patent,” which covers the design of the Human Touch HTT-10 model massage chair.

Attorneys David Dillard and Art Hasan led the Christie, Parker & Hale legal team that prosecuted the case.

“We are very pleased that Judge Fairbank affirmed these awards, which recognized the truly innovative nature of this product,” Dillard said. “The court has protected the right of the patent owner and its marketing partner to enjoy the fruits of their creativity free of patent infringement and unfair competition. It also protected the rights of consumers to buy brands they trust, such as Human Touch, without being duped into purchasing a knockoff.”

Hasan added: “Human Touch has worked hard to establish its trademarks and the resultant goodwill from the distinctive designs of its family of massage chairs. Upholding the judgment sends a clear message that competitors cannot willfully infringe upon and profit from these valuable assets without being held accountable.”

Christie, Parker & Hale has served as intellectual property legal counsel to Human Touch (formerly Interactive Health LLC) since 1995. It also represents a wide range of consumer-goods manufacturers and distributors in patent prosecution, litigation and licensing matters.

About Human Touch® LLC

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. 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 and fine furniture stores across the country, on-line at www.humantouch.com, as well retailers and distributors in more than 48 countries worldwide.

About Christie, Parker & Hale

Christie, Parker & Hale is a leading intellectual property law firm operating at the intersection of science, technology and the law. Engaged exclusively in all aspects of intellectual property law, most of the firm’s attorneys hold degrees in engineering or the sciences, bringing added value and perspective to client service. Drawing on a 54-year heritage, the firm continues to propel innovation and stimulate business growth by protecting its clients’ most valuable assets — intellectual property.

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