EUGENE, Ore. (KOIN) — One bong-making company is taking a hit at another after it was previously accused of copying design patents for three smoking pipes and a smoking pipe accessory.
Mike’s Novelties, Inc., a Texas company, filed a federal lawsuit in Oregon Monday against Colorado-based Eyce, LLC, claiming that it has not infringed on Eyce’s patents.
According to the lawsuit, Eyce first accused Mike’s Novelties of infringing on their design patents on June 4, 2020 and threatened to sue. At the time, Eyce sent a cease and desist notice to Mike’s Novelties, indicating which patents it suspected the company was copying and screenshots of Mike’s Novelties’ advertisements showing the products in question.
Eyce also accused Mike’s Novelties of copying products designed by other companies and said the company “appears to be a part of an established pattern of patent infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition in which [Mike’s Novelties] copies consumer products.”
Eyce demanded Mike’s Novelties stop selling the products and provide compensation for past infringement sales.
On Aug. 4, 2020, Eyce’s legal counsel sent Mike’s Novelties a letter demanding $415,000 to settle the dispute and said it would seek judicial intervention if Mike’s Novelties did not procure the funds. The letter states that Mike’s Novelties had acknowledged fault and had agreed to redesign certain products.
However, in the lawsuit, Mike’s Novelties insists Eyce is blowing smoke. It says it has not infringed and is not infringing on the design patent. The company said without a declaratory judgment of non-infringement or invalidity in the design patents, the company will be forced to continue operating its business with Eyce’s threat of a lawsuit looming.
Louis Teran, an attorney from SLC Law Group representing Mike’s Novelties, said the design for these pipes has been around for a very long time.
“They haven’t done anything wrong,” Teran said. “We just want the court to step in and tell us what the law says about this issue.”
In filing its own lawsuit, Mike’s Novelties is asking the court to declare that it has not infringed on Eyce’s patents and to declare that Eyce’s design patents are invalid. Mike’s Novelties isn’t seeking any damages, just funds to cover the cost of attorney fees. Teran said they’re hoping the court will alleviate the pressure the company has been receiving from Eyce.
KOIN 6 news has also reached out to Eyce’s legal counsel for comments.