Body sculpting device maker BTL settles counterfeit lawsuit

The manufacturer of a body contouring device that claims to use electromagnetic pulses to tone and shape muscles, BTL Industries, has settled a lawsuit that accused a rival company of counterfeiting.

BTL filed the complaint against Chicago, Illinois-based personal care business Beautiful by Pinky in July, alleging that the company – which operates a spa known as Pinky Promise Beauty – of infringing its Emsculpt trademark.

Pinky Promise advertised and provided body sculpting treatments "via a counterfeit or knockoff non-Emsculpt device," according to the suit.

BTL's Emsculpt device is approved by the FDA for use in stimulating neuromuscular tissue for bulk muscle excitation in indications such as prevention or reversal of muscle atrophy due to disuse and muscle re-reducation.

Pinky Promise has agreed to cease all use of BTL's trademarks and copyrighted images in marketing its services, pay BTL monetary damages, and forfeit the counterfeit non-Emsculpt device to BTL.

The counterfeit device was purchased from a foreign manufacturer, but BTL insisted that even though Pinky Promise did not manufacture it, it was still liable for advertising its treatments as being administered using an Emsculpt device.

"This complaint is the first of several that will be filed against clinics that are falsely advertising non-genuine Emsculpt treatments," said BTL.

Pinky Promise has cautioned spa service providers of being deceived by sellers of counterfeit and knockoff Emsculpt devices, which are not FDA cleared.

"I was incorrect to trust the authenticity and efficacy of a device sold by someone other than BTL," said a spokesperson for Pinky Promise.

"I wish I had done more research on this particular manufacturer before placing the order and advertising the product as an Emsculpt device."

BTL also resolved a patent infringement lawsuit with AbbVie last month – focused on the Emsculpt technology – which resulted in the pharma company making an undisclosed payment.

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