The dispute over entitlement to the AB Glider patent application


Victor S.C. Lee & Crystal J. Chen

The American sports equipment company, Icon Health & Fitness won a declaratory judgment on entitlement to a utility model patent application for a multi-function body training apparatus at the second instance of the IP court.

The dispute involves Ab Glider, a best-selling fitness apparatus advertised on TV and Internet shopping channels. Back in December 21, 2009, Icon sent an initial basic drawing of Ab Glider, the fitness apparatus at issue, by email to its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in Taiwan, requesting a quotation and a sample apparatus.

The drawing and details of Icon’s requests were subsequently sent to a downstream manufacturer associated with the OEM for further handling.

On April 27, 2010, a marketing assistant of the downstream manufacturer filed a utility model patent application for a multi-function sports apparatus that was suspiciously similar to Ab Glider. The patent was granted by the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) four months after the application was filed.

Taiwan, AB Glider, Patent, TIPO, Patent Act