A downtown Durham animal apparel company has sued a Brooklyn business for federal patent infringement and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Thundershirt, which is located next to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and county courthouse, alleges that the Brooklyn company stole its idea to create pressure-applied pet garments, used to calm dogs and cats suffering from anxiety or fear.
The federal lawsuit was filed last Friday against Brooklyn company BH Pet Gear in the Middle District of North Carolina.
Thundershirt, which claims to be one of the largest suppliers of pressure-applying garments in the country, secured a patent for their design in 2013. There are many features to their design, called “Trade Dress,” including distinct flaps and fastening mechanisms. Thundershirt had sold its apparel since 2009.
Pet Gear’s pressure-applying model, called “Calmingcoat,” is a direct replica of Trade Dress, Thundershirt’s lawyers allege in the lawsuit. The company seeks damages adequate to compensate for “all such unauthorized acts of infringement.”