Reach the Beach, which sells wheeled contraptions for getting your beach stuff from the parking lot to the sand, is suing Sam's Club for selling what it says is a patent-infringing, trademark-ruining knockoff.
In its lawsuit, filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Reach the Beach accuses the wholesale club and one of its importer of devaluing the value of its Wonder Wheeler brand by confusing the public and of violating the patent it holds on wheeled, collapsible carts for "transporting items such as those commonly taken to the beach or on a picnic over sandy or otherwise yielding terrain."
In particular, the infringing beach cart includes wide wheels that willfully duplicate (a) the exact measurements of the Wonder WheelerÂ®â€™s wheels (10 inches in diameter by 4 inches wide) and (b) the exact same design, including the alternating groove tread pattern.
Reach the Beach says it first began selling the devices in the 1990s:
Mr. Thrasher and Mr. DiMascio continued demonstrating the product, putting thousands of single page advertising flyers on cars in beach parking lots, running advertisements in beach area newspapers, and spending countless hours approaching families as they arrived at the beach offering to load their gear onto the Wonder Wheeler and roll it for them down to the shoreline.
The company is seeking an end to the sale and importing of the allegedly offending product, an order mandating Customs and Border Protecting to seize any of the carts on their way into the country, damages and lawyers' fees.