Select Comfort has become sick and tired of watching what it says are copycat air beds stream past borders.
So the Plymouth-based maker of the Sleep Number air beds filed a formal complaint with the International Trade Commission's Office of Unfair Import Investigations against three other companies. It is demanding the launch of an investigation and various cease-and-desist orders, ITC officials confirmed late Friday in a public notice.
In the complaint, Select Comfort Corp. in Minnesota and Select Comfort SC Corp. in Greenville, S.C., allege that the companies are importing copycats of patented beds and violating section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The initial complaint, which focuses on the violation of two key patents, was filed early last month with additional supplements filed on Oct. 28 and Nov. 5, commission officials said.
The complaint accuses the following firms of possible wrongdoing: Sizewise Rentals LLC in Kansas City, Mo.; American National Manufacturing Inc. in Corona, Calif.; and Dires LLC, an Orlando, Fla.-based company that also does business as Personal Comfort Bed. None of the firms was immediately available for comment.
Scott Stenzel, who described himself as a co-owner of Dires LLC said that Sizewise is really the parent company of both Dires, a marketing firm, and American National Manufacturing, which makes beds for Sizewise. He declined to comment on the case.
An administrative law judge will soon begin collecting evidence and holding hearings on the more than 24 claims made by Select Comfort, according to the trade commission.
Select Comfort said in a statement: "We took this step to protect our intellectual property and are pleased that the ITC accepted our complaint, but beyond that we do not comment on pending litigation."
Select Comfort is enjoying a bit of a turnaround after two painful years in which sales crept along, but profits dipped. Select Comfort announced last month that nine-month revenue rose 19.7 percent to $999 million, while profits jumped 46 percent to $71 million.
Select Comfort's stock rose 57 cents a share to close Monday at $24.06.