Water Tech Strikes Back Against Patent Infringement

Water Tech

Water Tech Corporation recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit in federal court against Kokido, a Chinese company, and Menards, a large home-improvement retailer based in the Midwestern U.S. Water Tech claims Kokido has been manufacturing a handheld pool vacuum using Water Tech technology, then selling the product back into the U.S. through several online and brick-and-mortar retailers, including Menards stores.

According to the complaint, Water Tech manufactured and sold a version of its hand-held rechargeable battery-powered pool vacuum to Kokido in 2013 and 2014 for distribution outside of the United States. Water Tech alleges that Kokido then copied the vacuum it had been selling overseas, manufactured its own version and began selling it into the U.S. in violation of Water Tech’s intellectual property rights. Menards, the other defendant in the suit, ceased sales of Water Tech’s vacuum and began selling the version manufactured by Kokido, according to the complaint.

We spoke with Water Tech founder and CEO Guy Erlich, who acknowledges the costliness of the suit, but also stresses the importance of standing up against patent violation.

“I feel like I’m doing this not just to protect my business, but also as a matter of principle,” he says. “I’m protecting what we do in this industry. I know many companies are afraid to spend the money or to get into litigation to protect themselves, and in turn it gives a free ride for someone to come in and trample on other people’s businesses and intellectual property.

“I grew up in this industry, and I feel it’s my responsibility to protect it.”

Page 1 of 173
Next Page
Buyer's Guide
Find manufacturers and suppliers in the most extensive searchable database in the industry.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide
Content Library
Dig through our best stories from the magazine, all sorted by category for easy surfing.
Read More
Content Library