When you think of patent litigation, high-tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft come to mind. But even simple inventions can spur a rash of patent litigation. In this case, FURminator Inc. is sparring with other companies to protect the patent on its pet grooming tool ,which is basically a clipper blade stuck on a handle, for use on furry pets.
The St.-Louis company has filed about 20 federal lawsuits against 8 competing companies like Munchkin, Inc. and PetEdge, Inc. since 2006, noted wsj.com. Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc., which bought FURminator last month for $140 million said it supports its patent acquisition and defense strategy. But some patent attorneys disagree, saying a patent shouldn’t have been granted for such an obvious invention. Most of the patent lawsuits have been settled with the defendants agreeing to stop selling similar products.