Lawsuit Filed in Connection with American Inventor Show

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

Apr 26, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)


what a shocker!

Apr 26, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

If the show had an ounce of

If the show had an ounce of class they would replace the copycat inventors (like this one) with some of the other contestants that were in the finals but didn't make it. They desreve a shot at 50 thousand dollars more than these imitation inventors!!!!
What a shame the show is so unfair it is sickening.

Apr 26, 2006
by Alexis

1994 patent

Don't pass judgement yet. Robert Amore got a patent in 1994 (United States Patent 6770014, August 3, 2004, Resistance type exercise device). Tonerbelt got his two patents in 1995. I'm sure we will find out more facts as we go along.

Apr 26, 2006
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

Great news!!!

I am not glad to see Robert in this mess, if it turns out to be one, but imagine the attention the show would get.

Please check out my invention at Bottle Sling - Invention Gallery .

Apr 26, 2006
by sarah (not verified)

Robert Amore and the Toner Belt

Robert Amore owns the utility patent for the
Tonerbelt and when ABC investigates further they
will discover the original concept drawings are
dated January 1994. Denise Austin has worn an
early Tonerbelt prototype. QVC was in
negotiations with Mr. Amore.
Mr. Amore has other inventions and patents and
has won national awards for his creations.
It appears that Inergie Fitness LLC is looking
for some free advertising. What they have not
disclosed is the pricetag and the cost
of "add-ons".
More power to Mr. Amore for building a better

May 3, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

An invention can be

An invention can be differant and patentable for what seems to be identical. In this case a diffreant resistance means in the spools would be patentable over the other. Although this is patentable, sometimes it may still infringe and before marketing the product you would need permission or a second license from the original patent. The original patent in this case would appear to be the 1994 one over the 1995 .

May 3, 2006
by S. Stebbins (not verified)

Enough with the bottle sling promo inserts

Phil Jones please stop using this blog to promote the bottle sling. Once maybe, twice OK but you're inserting into every post. Allow us to move through blog posts without bottle sling references.