Call it Inflategate. A manufacturer of novelty items is suing two companies over alleged counterfeit floaties.
BigMouth, Inc.’s inflatable tubes, including one that’s pineapple shaped and another resembling the kind of baked good Homer Simpson would drool over, are all the rage with kids. Even the likes of singer Justin Bieber have been seen on social media lounging on the Connecticut-based company’s signature donut floaty.
BigMouth, however, is not the least bit flattered by supposed knockoffs, which are nearly indistinguishable from its fashionable floaties and are being sold for less on Amazon.com.
“Consumers who had purchased these items had no idea they were purchasing a counterfeit product rather than the genuine article,” according to a complaint filed in July in Connecticut federal court.
The complaint refers to the defendants by their Amazon seller handles, Floating Panda and SoloFleet. At the time of the filing, it was unknown who owned the companies or where they were located. But one of them has since been identified, and it’s believed both are based overseas, said Steve Wampold, founder/president of BigMouth.
The complaint alleges that the companies have harmed the plaintiff to the tune of $20,000 a day in lost sales, so it is seeking $4 million in damages.
Wampold said his company has been successful in getting Amazon to remove some of the seller listings, but not all.