Stockroom Files $1M Suit Against Distributors of Violet Wand
LOS ANGELES — The Stockroom has waged a $1 million suit against the distributor of the Violet Wand, claiming that the Texas-based company has ripped off its trademarks to create brand confusion and employed online metatags with its marks to snare customers.
Stockroom's suit, filed at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, also said that the Violet Wand, which sells its products on VioletWands.com, has published untruthful and disparaging remarks about products the company sells — all in an attempt to cannibalize sales from The Stockroom's own lines of electro-stimulators for skin and genitals.
Violet Wand sells the “KinkeLab Neon Wand” and “Neon Wand — Kengoh,” while Stockroom markets the "Neon Wand." Each of the hand-held devices emit electric discharges that allows for varying intensity.
Stockroom, one of the oldest online providers of BDSM products, said in the suit that the Violet Wand has employed its trademarks in a manner calculated to "create initial point confusion" to sell its goods at prices below the actual available price.
Industry attorney Allan Gelbard, who represents Stockroom in the case, said that the Violet Wand has used “Kinkelab” and "Neon Wand" within metatags on its site in order to generate online traffic.
Stockroom has registered trademarks for KinkLab and Neon Wand.
"Said misuse constitutes a false designation of origin, and is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and to deceive the public as to the origin of these goods," said Stockroom's lawsuit, which noted thast said.
The suit, filed last month, also alleges that the Violet Wand has published to third parties, without justification or privilege, defamatory statements.
Some of the statements allegedly published include, “Avoid the Neon Wand chinese (sic) devices at Kinklab.com as it has very weak output and does not work with any violet wand accessories,” “Neon Wand ... cannot accept violet wand accessories such as body contact cables, lightbulb adaptors or other electrodes, and it can't do all violet wand bdsm techniques" and Neon Wand “[e]lectrodes are more fragile than violet wand electrodes.”
Stockroom is seeking $1 million in statutory penalties for unfair competition, trademark infringement, trade libel, defamation and unfair business practices, among other charges.
The Los Angeles-based brick-and-mortar, mail order and online retailer is seeking treble damages, which could triple the amount of damages, as well as attorneys fees.
Derek Schluetter, owner of Violet Wand, told XBIZ on Tuesday that Stockroom doesn’t have exclusive rights for importing, selling and reselling "violet wands."
"I think its shameful that a very small single owner business man like myself, just doing good to the violet wand community as a member of the kink community in providing inexpensive violet wand gear, is being harassed with a frivolous and incorrect lawsuit and outrageous lawsuit by a mega adult industry company trying to run me, the little guy, out of business as their competition," he said.
Gelbard did not immediately respond for comment.