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Womanizer wins $2.2 million patent infringement lawsuit against Lora DiCarlo

The sextech company behind the popular Womanizer vibrators has won $2.2 million in a default lawsuit judgment against rival brand Lora DiCarlo, which was accused of ripping off Womanizer designs.

German company Novoluto, now part of the Lovehoney Group, sued Uccellini, publicly known as Lora DiCarlo, in 2020. Lora DiCarlo went ‘silent’ in late 2022, reportedly ceasing operations plus business and public communication, and has been accused of financial mismanagement and staff harassment.

Lora DiCarlo was sued by Novoluto for patent infringement regarding the former company’s Osé, Osé 2, and Baci vibrators’ alleged similarities to the Womanizer range. Oregon US District Court documents reviewed by Oregon Business show that on June 1, 2023, the motion for Novoluto to be awarded $2,165,351 in damages was signed by a judge, following Uccellini/Lora DiCarlo’s failure to respond to the lawsuit.

Womanizer Duo 2 Premium
Womanizer DUO

Referring to Uccellini’s inactivity, the judge said that the company “fails to provide discovery and fails to defend, generally, frustrating the patentee’s ability to prove its case”, hence the default judgment against it.

Lovehoney Group told SEXTECHGUIDE that it tried to speak to Lora DiCarlo long before the latter company’s troubles came to light.

“We spend a lot of time and resources in the research and development of new products,” Lovehoney Group said. “We are proud of our products, of our technology, and we strive to protect our patents from infringement. Before filing the lawsuit, we reached out to Lora DiCarlo to find a solution, but the company was not willing to acknowledge that these specific products infringe on our patent. As a result, we took the next step and filed the lawsuit in 2020.”

There was sextech industry speculation in early 2023 that Lora DiCarlo would declare bankruptcy, but the Oregon court documents showed that this didn’t happen.

The court motion said that “while Defendant [Uccellini/Lora DiCarlo] has not declared bankruptcy or otherwise formally dissolved or gone out of business, its operating status, and whether it is solvent or insolvent, and if it is in some sort of suspension or is, instead, planning to resume business activities, is entirely unknown and unknowable (by Novoluto) at this time.”

The motion acknowledged that Novoluto’s chances of getting the money awarded were “speculative at best,” considering Lora DiCarlo’s current status.

ose2 review feature image
Lora DiCarlo Osé

The judgment marks a new low in Lora DiCarlo’s spectacular nosedive from grace. Run by co-founders Lora Haddock DiCarlo and Doug Layman, the company presented itself as sex-positive and inclusive. It won a robotics innovation prize in 2019, but soon afterward media reports questioned the sophistication of its products.

Lora DiCarlo enlisted model and actress Cara Delevingne as a co-owner and creative adviser, a massive celebrity coup that resulted in mainstream media coverage. However, by November 2022 reports that the company had ‘gone silent’ emerged, with customers complaining about unfulfilled orders and lack of communication.

Earlier this June [paywalled link] Fortune ran an investigation into Lora DiCarlo, including allegations of harassment and financial mismanagement at the company. Former staff said that they were told to test “used, not-clean” sex toys for product development.

Lovehoney Group told SEXTECHGUIDE: “When we decided to file the lawsuit, we could not anticipate that the company would suspend its business, nor could we anticipate the current economic situation.”

The company added: “This lawsuit is about protecting our innovative technology and [to] encourage fair practices within the industry. After all, the sexual wellness industry lives from new ideas and new innovative technologies and products. The recommendation from the Magistrate Judge highlights our commitment to fostering innovation and preserving our technologies.”

Lora DiCarlo’s communications lines have been inactive since the company ‘went dark’ last year.

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Jamie F
Jamie F

Jamie is a freelance writer, contributing to outlets such as The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, CNN and Vice, among others. He is also the creative force behind the Audible podcast Beast Master.

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