Well, I guess more litigation related to the American Inventor show was inevitable. Thanks to reader who made us aware of this (we have not yet verified its accuracy or veracity):
TEQUESTA, FL, April 26, 2006 – A formal complaint has been issued to ABC television network stating the judges of the show “The American Inventor” have wrongfully selected one of the participants for the final 12, allowing the contestant to misrepresent himself as the originator of a concept called the Tonerbelt that has already been developed and has been on store shelves since 1995, including Target and QVC, under the name of Powerbelt®.
The complaint was issued by Inergi Fitness LLC, on behalf of Powerbelt® inventor Joshua Corn, in response to hundreds of calls and emails from current Powerbelt® users who had seen the airing of “The American Inventor” episode featuring the Tonerbelt. Joshua Corn, an avid fitness enthusiast dedicated to fitness walking and running, invented the PowerBelt® Walking System in 1995. Patents 5,509,873 and 5,733,231 were given for the invention. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the Tonerbelt,” said Powerbelt® creator Joshua Corn. “It was disheartening to see my product, my inspiration, and my concepts being pitched and promoted by someone else.” The acclaimed PowerBelt® Walking System is the product that defines the total body walking workout. Simply strap on the fully padded belt, grab the soft rubber handles and go. The patented reels provide smooth resistance over the full range of your arm swing. The Powerbelt® burns more calories, tones muscles and helps enthusiasts lose weight faster. In fact, a University of Wisconsin study has shown that using the Powerbelt® burns up to 71% more calories than walking alone. A decade and thousands of users later, the Powerbelt® has been extremely successful in achieving status as an effective fitness solution, with endorsements by both Kathy Smith and Denise Austin. Additionally, the Powerbelt® has gained attention by national media including The Today Show, Fox News and Health Magazine.
“The American Inventor” contestant presented the Tonerbelt as a fitness belt featuring two handles on retractable cords, worn around the waist and the user pulls on the cords for resistance training. “The Tonerbelt is the exact same concept,” said Tom Hickey, CEO of Inergi Fitness LLC. “I think it’s ironic that a show, which is based upon American creativity and originality, has let this slip through the cracks.” For more information about the Powerbelt, visit www.powerbelt.com