Marshall Gerstein Secures Victory for PopSockets at the International Trade Commission

June 20, 2018

Marshall Gerstein secured a significant victory for its client PopSockets LLC at the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), which last Thursday issued a general exclusion order that empowers United States Customs and Border Protection to seize all imported products that infringe PopSockets’ U.S. Patent.

Based in Boulder, Co., PopSockets designs and develops stylish and functional grips for mobile electronic devices and has been recognized for its innovation and popularity among celebrities.

With that success however, PopSockets has repeatedly battled counterfeits, knock-offs and follow-on products that infringe its intellectual property, including its U.S. Patent No. 8,560,031. Hundreds, if not thousands, of manufacturers and distributors, copy the patented elements of PopSockets’ invention and import infringing products from other countries into the United States for resale.

To combat this widespread infringement, Marshall Gerstein on behalf of PopSockets filed a complaint with the ITC under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, a federal trade law that bars the import of products that infringe intellectual property rights and, on June 14, 2018, the ITC found that a general exclusion order is warranted. This order gives U.S. Customs the ability to stop the importation of infringing products by any entity, not just those specifically named in PopSockets’ ITC complaint.

“The evidence was overwhelming that PopSockets was harmed by these unfair practices. This is a significant victory for PopSockets, which now has the ability to work with U.S. Customs to ensure that no infringing products make it into the country,” said Ben Horton, lead counsel for PopSockets and chair of Marshall Gerstein’s intellectual property litigation practice group.

“This is a huge win for our company,” said Kelly Frazier, PopSockets’ Director of Intellectual Property and Brand Protection. “General exclusion orders are not handed down often by the International Trade Commission, so this is a very important tool for us to use in our fight against infringing products entering the United States.”

About PopSockets LLC

PopSockets LLC is a Boulder, Colorado-based company that designs and manufactures mobile accessories. Its central product, the PopSockets Grip, is a phone grip and stand that is collapsible, customizable, and re-positionable.

PopSockets was formed in 2012 when philosopher, inventor, founder, and CEO David Barnett glued two buttons to his cell phone in hopes that they would help keep his earbuds wrapped and neat. As odd as it looked, the idea worked. Barnett began experimenting with putting the buttons on plastic accordions, so that he could pop them out to provide a phone stand and grip. It was then that Barnett realized he might have that fabled million-dollar idea.

The first PopSockets Grip was sold on PopSockets.com in January of 2014, and the company has since experienced incredible growth. In January 2016, PopSockets sold its one millionth grip.