Did you hear?...Nautilus sues Extreme Fitness, charging infringement of selectorized dumbbells

Nautilus has filed suit against retailer/manufacturer Extreme Fitness, charging patent infringement of its multi-weight SelectTech dumbbells sold under the Nautilus and Bowflex brands. The first hearing to schedule a conference will be Oct. 9 on the suit filed Aug. 22 in the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado.
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Nautilus has filed suit against retailer/manufacturer Extreme Fitness, charging patent infringement of its multi-weight SelectTech dumbbells sold under the Nautilus and Bowflex brands. The first hearing to schedule a conference will be Oct. 9 on the suit filed Aug. 22 in the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado.

Defendant John Huerta of Extreme Fitness said only that his company just received the paperwork this week and was going through the information. He said the weight systems have a lot of differences.

He started selling his, called OmniSelect, in March. They are manufactured by the Omni company based in China.

Although similar in appearance based only on what is visible on the websites (www.omniselect.com, www.nautilus.com), the Omni has a one-handed knob for controlling the weight selection on both ends simultaneously. The Nautilus company's SelectTech has a knob at both ends, which only control the plate selection of their respective end. Both have bases and racks and the racks are in a V-shape so users can stand between the open part of the V to more safely pick up a weight.

The suit, which charges infringement of two patents and two design patents, is based partly on Nautilus having acquired the rights to the original technology from developer Mark Krull in 2006.

Nautilus is requesting an injunction on sales, as well as damages, profits, attorney fees and a jury trial.

The October hearing will schedule a possible time for a so-called Markman Hearing, which is a hearing in patent litigation cases designed to determine the interpretation and scope of the claim and the patent's language to help interpret the case. A ruling in a Markman Hearing can help pave the way to negotiations and out-of-court settlements.

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