ITC finds patent of cat litter products valid, enforceable

MIRAMAR, Fla. A home appliances manufacturer and its subsidiary announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined that two other companies infringed its patent.

The ITC unanimously determined that cat litter boxes and accessories being imported into the United States by Lucky Litter LLC of Chicago, OurPet’s Co. of Fairport Harbor, Ohio, infringe the LitterMaid patent developed by Salton Inc. and its subsidiary, Applica Home Products.

The infringement findings cover Lucky Litter self-cleaning litter box products sold under the “ScoopFree” brand name, ScoopFree litter cartridges, and OurPet’s Co. self-cleaning litter box products sold under the “SmartScoop” brand name. In addition to finding that the LitterMaid patent was infringed, the ITC found that the patent is valid and enforceable.

The Commission has issued an exclusion order to stop further importation of infringing products into the United States by the two companies. Additionally, the ITC ruling prohibits the unlicensed importation of infringing self-cleaning litter boxes and components, including cartridges that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of the companies. The ITC also has issued cease and desist orders prohibiting the companies from importing, selling, marketing, advertising, distributing, offering for sale, transferring, or soliciting U.S. agents or distributors for any of the covered products.

“We appreciate the ITC recognizing the validity and enforceability of our patent and more importantly for taking the necessary steps to prevent unfair competition,” said Terry Polistina, Salton’s president and CEO. “We will be working closely with U.S. Customs to ensure the effective enforcement of the ITC orders and will take whatever steps necessary to prevent continued infringement. Resellers should note that continued sale, marketing and distribution of the Lucky Litter and Our Pet’s products may be subject to enhanced damages, which could be substantial. We are considering all available options with respect to willful infringers.”

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