By Eric Schweibenz and John Presper
On September 4, 2018, Hoist Fitness Systems, Inc. of Poway, California (“Hoist”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that TuffStuff Fitness International, Inc. of Chino, California and Shandong Relax Health Industry Co. Ltd. of China (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain strength-training systems and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,549,949 (“the ’949 patent”), 7,563,209 (“the ’209 patent”), 7,594,880 (“the ’880 patent”), 7,654,938 (“the ’938 patent”), and 7,976,440 (“the ’440 patent”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to strength-training systems with a dynamic user support that continuously adjust the user’s position to maintain optimal positioning throughout the entire exercise range of motion. In particular, the ’949 patent relates to a chest press exercise machine with a self-aligning, pivoting user support on the main frame. The ’209 patent relates to a leg exercise machine with a self-aligning, pivoting seat on the main frame. The ’880 patent relates to an exercise machine that has a main frame with a user support frame pivotally mounted on the main frame. The ’938 patent relates to an exercise machine that includes a main frame and a user support frame or exercise arm that is mounted to the main frame by a multiple pivot assembly. The ’440 patent relates to an upper back exercise machine.

In the complaint, Hoist asserts that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically identifies the following products from the Bio-Arc (“BA”) product line as accused products that are made, sold, offered for sale, and/or imported by the Proposed Respondents: BA-701 Chest Press, BA-702 Shoulder Press, BA-703 Biceps Curl, BA-704 Triceps Dip, BA-705 Lat Pulldown, BA-706 Mid Row, BA-707 Leg Extension, BA-708 Leg Curl, and BA-709 Leg Press.

Hoist states that a domestic industry exists by virtue of its significant investments in plant and/or equipment and significant employment of labor and capital in the U.S. Hoist specifically points to its ROC-IT™ product line as domestic industry products that practice at least one claim of each asserted patent.

As to related litigation, Hoist identified Hoist Fitness Systems, Inc. v. TuffStuff Fitness International, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-0670 (S.D. Cal.), filed April 3, 2017.

Regarding potential remedy, Hoist requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease-and-desist orders directed to the Proposed Respondents.