It’s not often you find a 12-year-old inventing a new product. Mostly you’ll find them texting with their friends or playing the latest game on their Xbox One. But Sophia Forino has a much brighter and ambitious mind than a normal 12-year-old. Sophia invented a new product that was designed to clean cell phone screens with ease. Basically, she came up with a microfiber cloth with some double sided tape on it which then led to months of research and development into the final product, a microfiber cloth that sticks to your phone so you can clean it whenever you like. That final product was named HypeWipes®, and it has landed Sophia and her family in a Trademark Lawsuit with Current Technologies.
UPDATE: 12/8/2014 – It seems that cooler heads have prevailed, and a settlement has been reached:
Dec 8, 2014 — As you know, we were sued for trademark infringement by Current Technologies in June of 2014. We retained an attorney who advised us that we had legitimate defenses to the complaint, but that the plaintiff had legitimate claims as well. We have agreed to settle the case and move forward with our respective businesses.
Going forward we will be known as PicPop and the specific product line will be called PicPop Stickers.
See our website www.PicPopapp.com, an app that will be available in iTunes on or around December 15, 2014.
Current Technologies owns the Trademark to a product called Hype-Wipe® and they are demanding Sophia not only stop using the name, but they’re demanding they completely close down their business. This is after the family had already been granted a trademark for HypeWipes® through the U.S. Patent Office. Current Technologies’ product is a sealed bleach towelette that is sold to hospitals and other companies as a disinfectant cleaner. You can view the email sent to Sophia from Current Technologies President Susan Hapak below.
Now Sophia’s family is asking for the public’s support via a petition on change.org to ask Current Technologies to drop the lawsuit against Sophia and allow her to continue on with her venture uncontested. So far the petition has gotten over 82,000 signatures and with shares to social media and press outlets like ours, we’re certain it will only continue to grow. Here’s a bit of what the petition says.
Imagine the pride of watching your 12 year old daughter invent a product and then turn it into an exciting startup business; watching as she finds the excitement and joy that comes with being creative, taking initiative, and watching as all her hard work leads to success. It’s the type of entrepreneurship and experience we would be excited for if it happened to anybody in your family, let alone two kids. But a year and half later instead of continued encouragement and reward, a company with a similar name is sueing my daughter. They are not just asking us to change the name, but demanding to shut down the business completely and pay them a million dollars. We are asking you to stand with my daughter and demand Susan Hapak and Current Technologies to drop their lawsuit.
After a year and a half in business Sophia and Marissa received an email from a Company called Current Technologies, a company that deals mostly with hospital cleaning supplies, telling them to shut down their business because the name Hype Wipes® was infringing on Current Technologies trademark Hype-Wipe®. If they didn’t comply with all of Hapak’s demands they would be sued for trademark infringement. This claim was made despite the fact we filed for our own trademark and were granted the HypeWipes® mark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
There’s much more to read through in the change.org post, and we encourage you to head over there via the links below to read more about Sophia’s Trademark Lawsuit with Current Technologies. These are the tough challenges of doing business anywhere, and we truly hope that Sophia and her family can get this sorted out with Current Technologies and that both parties can agree on something that will ultimately not kill this young lady’s inventing soul.
We’ve reached out to Ms. Hapak for comment.
Video has also been removed from Vimeo