On Thursday 20 February, BTL Industries, Inc. (“BTL”)  announced it has filed a lawsuit against Allergan plc, Allergan USA, Inc., Allergan, Inc., and Zeltiq Aesthetics, Inc. The lawsuit alleges a wide-ranging false and misleading advertising campaign launched by Allergan relating to BTL’s industry-leading EMSCULPT device for non-invasive muscle toning and body shaping.

According to the lawsuit, Allergan’s marketing, sales materials, and social media advertising feature numerous deceptive comparisons of Allergan’s CoolTone product to the EMSCULPT, and misrepresent Allergan’s product as having performance advantages compared to EMSCULPT.

“While BTL welcomes fair competition and competitive advertising, it was the egregious and misleading nature of their marketing that compelled us to file this lawsuit,” said Filip Donner, Director of BTL Industries. “Long before bringing their product to the market, Allergan knowingly made false, deceptive, and misleading descriptions of fact concerning the nature, characteristics, and qualities of the EMSCULPT device as compared to their product.”

In particular, Allergan’s comparisons about magnetic intensity are false on their face. The tests presented in the lawsuit show that Allergan’s product and BTL’s EMSCULPT have on average substantially equivalent magnetic intensity at the point of patient contact. Further, Allergan’s statements about magnetic intensity are misleading when they falsely imply that magnetic intensity is a measure of power, or efficacy.

“Alone, magnetic intensity is not an accurate measure of the amount of induced electrical current delivered to the tissue by the magnetic field during therapy. The higher the induced electrical current, the stronger the muscle contraction,” explained Ron Borsheim, VP – Business Development.

Testing presented in the lawsuit shows that BTL’s EMSCULPT device, when averaging abdomen, buttocks and leg therapies, induces up to 56% more electrical current into the target tissue than Allergan’s product.

“We owe it to our customers and employees to hold Allergan accountable for attempting to gain an unfair competitive advantage through these misleading practices,” added Ron Borsheim.

This lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, is the latest filing with the same court against Allergan. The previous lawsuit asserts that the Cooltone device, manufactured by Zimmer for Allergan, infringes on BTL’s United States patents. This lawsuit seeks a court order halting Allergan’s false and misleading advertising, and requests corrective marketing and advertising, damages, and attorneys’ fees.


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