Consumer air bed company Personal Comfort has filed a complaint against Sleep Number [NASDAQ:SNBR] in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota, alleging that Sleep Number has engaged in antitrust violations, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, deceptive trade practices, and that Sleep Number has been unjustly enriched in violation of Minnesota law.
Personal Comfort’s lawsuit alleges that Sleep Number wrongfully asserted that it has trademark rights in “number bed” and other phrases Personal Comfort has a right to use to compare itself to Sleep Number’s products. Those efforts have illegally suppressed competition and maintained a monopoly over the consumer adjustable firmness air mattress bed system market and increased Personal Comfort’s advertising costs. Employees of Sleep Number have also posted false statements on Personal Comfort’s social media pages, according to the Complaint.
“Sleep Number has done everything it can to drive competition out of the number bed market,” said Craig Miller, Personal Comfort Manager. “Personal Comfort refuses to be driven out by a corporate bully and is prepared to stand up for itself in court.”
This isn’t the first time Personal Comfort and Sleep Number have met in court. In 2017, a 12-member federal jury found in favor of Personal Comfort in a lawsuit Sleep Number filed against it for trademark infringement/dilution, unfair competition and false advertising.
At the 2017 trial, Sleep Number claimed it was false advertising for Personal Comfort to say their beds were “preferred over Sleep Number” and were “upgraded versions” of Sleep Number. During the trial, president of American National Manufacturing, Craig Miller, built both beds, side-by-side—a Personal Comfort A8 and a Sleep Number i8. After Miller's testimony, the jury rejected Sleep Number’s false-advertising claims.
During that trial, Sleep Number sought more than $17.1 million in damages from the defendants. The jury found for Personal Comfort on nearly all claims and found no individual liability for any Personal Comfort employees.
In that trial, Personal Comfort also prevailed on its counterclaim seeking a judgment that Select Comfort has no trademark rights in the phrase “number bed.”
The new case is Dires, LLC d/b/a Personal Comfort Bed v. Sleep Number Corporation, No. 27-CV-19-18323, currently pending in the District Court for the Fourth Judicial District in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
The judgment in the federal jury trial is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
About Personal Comfort: Orlando, Fla.-based Personal Comfort sells innovative sleep products that are personalized to the individual sleeper. Personal Comfort makes it simple to personalize each side of the air-adjustable number bed with a remote control or any smart device. The company combines high-quality materials with state-of-the-art technology and superior customer service. Uniquely, its modular design allows for a build-a-bed style of construction so the consumer can self-select upgrades or downgrades depending on comfort or budget needs.