The ITC complaint seeks to ban the import of the RW and WP propeller pump products lines into the United States, as well as the cessation of all distribution and sale of any existing domestic inventories. The complaint is based on Hydor’s assertion that Jebao has infringed on Hydor’s patent.
The U.S. Patent number cited in the complaint (8,191,846) pertains to the magnetic coupling technology used to secure the pumps to the glass, where two elements (one placed on the outside of the aquarium with the other inside attached to the pump) are magnetically coupled to create a suction effect when two flexible rubber seals are pulled together. The benefit of Hydor’s patented design is that the suction effect allows less powerful magnets to securely affix the pumps in place.
Jebao has two logical recourses if they wish to continue marketing their RW and WP pumps within the USA (and they surely will because the USA market is the largest marine aquarium products market). Jebao can either challenge the complaint or they can redesign the coupling element to omit the suction effect. Many varieties of magnetic couplers already exist for other propeller pumps on the market today (Tunze, EcoTech, et al.).