Battle of the beds: Serta sues Casper for allegedly ripping off its mattress tech
Serta is suing Casper for patent infringement in a showdown between the country’s biggest mattress brand and the leading startup attempting to disrupt it.
Serta alleges that Casper copied its patented design in developing its new Wave mattress and documents the similarities in exhaustive detail over the course of a 40-page lawsuit.
“Casper’s unauthorized use is unsurprising given that Casper openly states on its website that it has ‘disrespect for the existing mattress industry,'” Serta’s lawyers write in a swipe at the bitter rivalry between the industry’s traditional retailers and their startup challengers.
Casper first unveiled the high-end Wave model in August with prices ranging from $1,000 to $2,250, around double that of its regular mattresses. Its design is meant to conform to the shape of a sleeper’s body with alternating layers of soft and firm material.
“Casper openly states on its website that it has ‘disrespect for the existing mattress industry.'”
Serta claims this construction too closely resembles its own “Channel Cut Technology,” a series of divots in between the mattress layers that provide more flexible support. It also points to two other instances in which separate patents were allegedly violated.
The company is asking for monetary reimbursement as well as a court order barring Casper from continuing to produce or sell the model.
“Plaintiffs have been and continue to be irreparably harmed by Casper’s infringement of the ’935 Patent such that money damages cannot sufficiently compensate for such irreparable harm,” the document claims.
The supposed damages are also framed in light of Casper’s planned initial public offering and its $170 million funding round in June. Serta’s lawyers estimate that Casper made around $1 million in revenue in the first 28 days after the Wave launch.
The lawsuit pulls quotes from press coverage of the launch in Architectural Digest, Fast Company, and other media outlets to make the case that the allegedly stolen design was the defining feature of the mattress.
Casper is the top startup in the burgeoning bed-in-a-box e-commerce segment that’s aiming to upend companies like Serta with super-compact shipping and generous trial periods and return policies.
Casper didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.