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Pet clothing maker sues competition for patent infringement

By Shaun Zinck | May 13, 2015

| Shutterstock

The makers of pet clothing have filed a lawsuit against a similar company claiming patent infringement over its pressure-applying pet garments.

Thundershirt, a North Carolina-based company, filed the suit April 24 in the United States District Court Middle District of North Carolina Durham Division against BH Pet Gear LLC, alleging the company violated patent laws by marketing and selling pressure-applying pet clothing.

Thundershirt sells the garments to help calm dogs and cats who suffer from "anxiety, fear or over-excitement," according to the suit. The suit claims Thundershirt's design is “inherently distinctive,” and has owned the common law rights to the design since May 2009.

Thundershirt alleges BH Pet Gear's pet garments copy, at least in part, the patented design of its products.

“(BH Pet Gear's) intentional copying of the Thundershirt Trade Dress for pressure-applying pet garments that are similar to Thundershirt’s goods is likely to cause consumers to be mistaken, confused, or deceived into thinking that that defendant’s pressure-applying pet garments are associated with, affiliated with, originate from, or are sponsored or endorsed by Thundershirt,” the suit said.

Thundershirt is seeking an unspecified amount of damages to be determined by the court plus court costs. The company is represented by Kathryn G. Cole and Benjamin R. Huber of Moore & Van Allen PLLC of Charlotte, NC.

United States District Court Middle District of North Carolina Durham Division case number 1:15-cv-00339.

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