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SCOOP: SHO Products strikes back, sues Puffco for patent infringement

By Alex Halperin
Sep 22, 2022
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Courtesy: SHO Products

SHO Products, maker of the Focus V Carta e-rig, sued Puffco for patent infringement this week, escalating its legal battle with the rival dabbing device maker.

First released in 2018, Puffco’s Peak rig, sometimes called the iPhone of bongs, helped destigmatize dabbing and make concentrates one of the hottest product categories in cannabis. Puffco and SHO are now fighting over the multi-billion market for sleek, portable e-rigs which Puffco expanded. 

The SHO lawsuit comes months after Puffco sued SHO for infringement on a separate patent also commercialized in Puffco’s Peak device line. Puffco alleged infringement of a patent for for “a portable vaporizing device with an atomizer and mouthpiece that are each independently removably attachable to the base.”

SHO’s new lawsuit alleges infringement of its patent for a “removable cup atomizer.” 

  • Both suits were filed in federal court in the Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles.

Patent litigation is technical, expensive and unpredictable, and the vast majority of cases settle before trial.

SHO’s response to the initial Puffco lawsuit focused on a procedural issue known as “prior art” which gives inventors one year to file a patent after publicly displaying their innovation. SHO claims  that Puffco’s pre-launch marketing for the Peak in early January 2018 came more than a year before it filed the patent application on January 14, 2019.

  • SHO argues that Puffco’s intellectual property had been publicized,  among other places, in a January 8, 2018 review of the device in Engadget, in since deleted Instagram posts and at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
  • In addition to the new lawsuit, SHO has filed a motion to dismiss Puffco’s case. It’s set to be argued on Monday.

Jeffrey Smyth, a Silicon Valley-based partner at IP law firm Finnegan, said SHO’s motion to dismiss, paired with its new law suit shows it’s taking a “pretty aggressive stance,” in the litigation. (Smyth is not involved in the case.)

A spokesperson for Puffco declined to comment.       

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(Disclosure: WeedWeek is represented by Bryan Cave, Puffco’s representation in the suit.)