On February 5, 2016, Simple Wishes, LLC of Sacramento, California (“Simple Wishes”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that TANZKY, BabyPreg, Deal Perfect, and Buywish (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”)—all of China—unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain pumping bras that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,323,070 (the ‘070 patent) and 8,192,247 (the ‘247 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”). 

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to a bra worn by women while using a breast pump to express breast milk.  These “pumping bras” hold the flanges, or shields, of a breast pump in place over an exposed portion of the breast, allowing for hands-free pumping.  The complaint states that the asserted patents are an improvement over earlier pumping bras in multiple ways, including their addition of cover panels that allow for use of the bra while pumping, while at the same time allowing the bra to be comfortably worn all day.

In the complaint, Simple Wishes states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to various hands-free pumping bras associated with the Proposed Respondents as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Simple Wishes states that its Hands Free Breast Pump Bra embodies the asserted patents.  Simple Wishes further states that it is an established U.S. company that was founded in 2008 by four sisters, all mothers of young children, and that it currently employs twelve individuals in the U.S. Simple Wishes also specifically refers to its headquarters and distribution center in California.

With respect to potential remedy, Simple Wishes requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order, and a permanent cease and desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents and related entities.  Simple Wishes states that a general exclusion order is warranted for a number of reasons, including that the infringement of the asserted patents and the unlawful importation of infringing goods is widespread, that the alleged infringers are difficult, if not impossible, to identify or locate, that many sales are made via the Internet, and that the alleged infringers are frequently changing their identities to avoid detection.