Michigan company I Love My Pillow in legal dispute with giant MyPillow

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A small Michigan pillow company is in a legal battle – call it a nasty pillow fight – with industry giant MyPillow, made famous by its CEO’s colorful TV infomercials, recovering from crack addiction and the exuberance of President Donald Trump.

MyPillow, based in Minnesota, which says it has 1,600 employees and 44 million customers, sued last year for infringement of trademark LMP Worldwide, based in Wixom, which sells pillows under the name “I Love My Pillow” and has nine employees.

Last week, I Love My Pillow denied all of the allegations and sued.

MyPillow was launched in 2004 and is about three years older than I Love My Pillow. I Love My Pillow founder Mark Arthurs came up with his company name after his daughter tried out his homemade prototype and exclaimed, “Daddy, I love my pillow! “

MyPillow founder Mike Lindell is the optimistic marketing pitchman, personally guaranteeing that MyPillow “is going to be the most comfortable pillow you’ve ever owned”.

Lindell opens up about her past struggles with crack cocaine, which cost her a marriage, her house and almost her business before sobering up in 2009.

Most recently, Lindell made headlines for his enthusiastic praise of Trump, including at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, when he described him as “chosen by God.”

MyPillow and I Love My Pillow make competing styles of memory foam pillows. Following an earlier litigation, they signed a coexistence agreement in 2013.

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But MyPillow accuses I Love My Pillow of breaking the terms of that agreement by buying the words “my” and “pillow” in Google search ads. Additionally, an employee of I Love My Pillow emailed a wholesale customer saying “[w]We are confident to face other pillows, especially My Pillow (sic).

MyPillow has asked Minnesota U.S. District Court to force I Love My Pillow to abandon its website I likeMy Pillow.com, stop using the phrase and draw “I (heart) my pillow” and recall and destroy all of her pillows that are labeled “I (heart) my pillow”.

“This is another company that is trying to graft itself on and copy someone else like it’s their own idea,” Lindell said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “That’s a shame.”

I Love My Pillow denies doing anything that violated the agreement.

The company admits to purchasing the ad words “my” and “pillow” at the end of 2016, but insists it immediately corrected this error within the timeframe provided by the agreement.

Counterclaim

Last week, I Love My Pillow filed a fiery counterclaim against MyPillow, accusing the Minnesota company of false advertising and unfair competition, demanding that MyPillow share with I Love My Pillow its ill-gotten profits, among other remedies.

“What my client wants is to be able to compete in a fair market, where consumers make purchasing decisions based on product quality,” said attorney A. Michael Palizzi of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, which represents I love my pillow.

MyPillow has already come under scrutiny for its marketing practices, including advertisements referring to Lindell as a “sleep expert”. The company has settled various class actions and paid a California judgment of over $ 1 million in 2016.

In 2017, the Better Business Bureau lost the rating of MyPillow an A + to an F for fulfilling a long-standing “Buy One, Get One Free” offer. According to the BBB, “buy one, get one” offers should be offered for 30 days or less, otherwise the price becomes continuous and not a sale price, the StarTribune reported at the time.

It’s personal

On Tuesday, Lindell called the “buy one, get one” section a bogus controversy that has been fabricated by critics of his political views.

“It was an attack because I supported the greatest president who ever led the United States of America,” he said. “That’s where it comes from, and you can print it.”

The follow-up to I Love My Pillow focuses on a “sleep study” that MyPillow recently featured on its website and in advertisements as proof that MyPillow is the best pillow.

According to I Love My Pillow, the sleep study was unscientific, flawed, and misleading for consumers.

The MyPillow website initially advertised: “NEW SLEEP STUDY PROVEN! 100 percent of sleep study participants INCREASED their amount of DEEP SLEEP with MyPillow! “

The website also described the study as a “randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing the sleep of study participants between their original pillow, the MyPillow Classic pillow, and goose-down pillows.” .

But according to I Love My Pillow, the study could not have been “blind” because the participants would obviously have known whether or not they were using their own pillows. Additionally, the difference between a foam-filled MyPillow and a goose-down pillow would be immediately apparent, according to the follow-up.

After learning that I Love My Pillow was filing its counterclaim, MyPillow changed the wording of the website in January to remove the “double-blind”, “randomized” and “placebo-controlled” claims, the counter-suit says.

Also:

  • MyPillow then backtracked on the benchmark of “100%” of study participants improving their deep sleep.
  • MyPillow actually funded the sleep study, and the company that conducted it had never done one before.
  • The study was to include 520 paid participants, but more than half of them did not complete the study, usually because they dropped out.

According to I Love My Pillow, these false and misleading medical claims have turned potential businesses away from their own pillows.

A seizure of money?

Lindell insisted on Tuesday that the sleep study was legitimate.

“Some people dropped out (from the study) because they didn’t want to experience the horror of using another pillow once they used MyPillow,” he said. “You couldn’t pay them enough to stay on those other pillows – that’s the truth.”

For Lindell, the I Love My Pillow follow-up is simply “a scam”.

“This whole system needs to be changed so that all lawyers go to jail for all their frivolous prosecutions,” he said.

Contact JC Reindl: 313-222-6631 or [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @jcreindl. Learn more about the business and join our company newsletter.



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