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Tonic Settles With My Sweet Petunia over Stamp Platform

In a joint statement issued today, Tonic Studios and My Sweet Petunia announced that they have settled their year-old litigation over whether the Tim Holtz stamp platform infringed on the patent for My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI tool.

MISTI stamping tool

Under the agreement with My Sweet Petunia, Tonic Studios will stop selling both sizes of the Tim Holtz stamp platform in the U.S., Canada, North America and South America. Sales of accessories for the platforms will also end in those markets. The Tim Holtz stamp platform will continue to be available in other areas such as Europe and Asia.

The announcement also refers to “a larger agreement that anticipates an ongoing business relationship between the two companies” and says the companies “look forward to working together”.

For those still wishing to pick up a Tim Holtz stamp platform in the United States before they disappear, you can still find them here [affiliate links]: Amazon, A Cherry On Top, Scrapbook.com, Simon Says Stamp

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73 Responses to Tonic Settles With My Sweet Petunia over Stamp Platform

  1. Laura July 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm #

    Is she going to (or has already) going after Stampin up too?

    • Jayme July 25, 2018 at 12:08 am #

      Stampin’ Up’s Stamparatus is different enough to not infringe on the patent. Thats like Ford suing other car companies for creating more cars.

      • Joyce Burton October 20, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

        Patent law is different from copyright law where you can change an image by a certain percentage. A patent costs (last time I looked) $10,000.

      • Beth Fairweather October 23, 2018 at 8:57 pm #

        She is actually, she just filed this month.

  2. Laura Strickland July 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm #

    Is she going after Stampin Up? Or has she already?

  3. Rhonda Jafri July 19, 2018 at 11:32 pm #

    Only crafters lose when such things happen. Finally, an affordable platform came to market that was much easier to use for some stampers. Now, that has stopped. Maybe she will try to sue Stampin Up since they also have a stamp positioner. Just sad.

  4. stampinggranny1 July 19, 2018 at 11:58 pm #

    Tim’s was made so much better than the overpriced cheap thin plastic pink tool.Will be sad to see his not be sold anymore.I was in the fence in buying the Tim travel version..now I am off to Amazon to buy it.

    • speedcatbeth July 25, 2018 at 1:34 am #

      As soon as I heard about this, and that there was a travel size, I bought it too, along with extra magnets. I will never buy a MISTI nor will I go to her site. Tim Holtz always does things better.

      • Sonya September 17, 2018 at 11:26 pm #

        Misti’s are so overpriced! Tim Holtz is much better.

      • Dieverdog September 27, 2018 at 3:48 pm #

        I agree – the Tim Holtz one is WAY better – not the same, actually works better, is sturdier and also CHEAPER! I will be very sorry to the Tonic version have to go in the US. I have no idea why the MISTI won this suit – it doesn’t seem right to me. The Tonic version was clearly not the same at all – and there are plenty of other products that have different companies making variations on a similar product – like cars for instance! The MISTI is so over priced for a much inferior product that it so annoying that the market can’t bear to have some competition? I am so glad I got both sizes of the Tim Holtz/Tonic version while they are around! Tim is always very thoughtful in his product designs – he is a stamper and crafter and knows the needs and makes excellent products that work well. I’m sorry to see him and Tonic take a hit on this when they had clearly come out with a superior product. I will never buy a MISTI or support that company.

  5. Lue Perce July 20, 2018 at 1:38 am #

    You can’t just infringe on other peoples patents. Maybe his was better, I don’t know, but you can’t just go ahead and do what you feel like doing without researching.

    • Marge Kaufmann July 26, 2018 at 2:19 pm #

      I agree I have a stamperatus and a misti both are great. I won’t buy a Tim Holtz just for the fact that they did infringe.

      • Cheryl McGregor October 21, 2018 at 5:24 pm #

        The Tim Holtz platform was in the works before the Misti got it’s patent.

    • Betty October 4, 2018 at 2:14 am #

      Ironic that tough mention research in your reply. If you had done some research, you’d see that the MISTI is not original at all.

    • Rosetta Jenkins November 11, 2018 at 11:31 am #

      Just to add a comment. If you invented a great product, and it was received well, as a matter of fact, the demand was amazingly huge and outweighed Illiana’s ability to produce them fast enough, how would you feel if a big company copied your product, made a few tweaks and attached a wildly popular designer’s name to it? It is unethical, but unless protected by law, it will continue to happen. MISTI went thru the patent process and received that patent before the topic stamp press came live. So, MSP had every right to sue. Illiana spent time taking the letterpress process and created a unique tool to revolutionize stamping. I reject anyone saying that she was “bad” to do it. That is utter nonsense. Revisit economics 101. American law protects the inventor if you have the money to pay for a patent. Many inventors sell their creations to large companies who get patents for them. Guess who.will get then lion’s share of the profit? Maybe not in every case. But too many. Kudos to MSP for challenging companies that infringe upon her rights as an inventor and manufacturer of her clever and unique product. And for the love of God, stop comparing to a garlic press.

  6. Tracey July 20, 2018 at 2:41 am #

    What a load of rubbishy, there are lots more on the market closer to the Misti than the tonic one

  7. Katie B July 20, 2018 at 2:50 am #

    Thankfully, I already purchased both the full and travel size stamp platform by Tim Holtz for Tonic. The Funkie Junkie Boutique also still has a few of each for sale, along with the protective sleeves. I’m glad it could be settled amicably.

  8. Rhonda July 20, 2018 at 4:08 am #

    So very disappointed in TH. He’s lost one fan.

    • Lisa Miller July 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

      Not sure why you are disappointed in Tim. He did not build the stamp platform. A number of companies came out with better made, more reasonably priced stamping platforms. This one had enough differences than the MISTI to have not trigger a lawsuit first time around. Guess she will go after We R Memory Keepers, next. 🙁

    • speedcatbeth July 25, 2018 at 1:36 am #

      Why! He designed a better tool, and I am sure he did not feel he was copying anything. I am a die hard TH fan.

  9. Rhonda M Yates July 20, 2018 at 4:13 am #

    Good result.

  10. Melissa July 20, 2018 at 5:29 am #

    The Tonic stamp platform is a better design, sturdier and does not have religious crap slapped on it.

  11. karen July 20, 2018 at 5:55 am #

    Like i said on the Tonic fb page, my misti is in mothballs. I fought with it from the first use; it just does a lousy job compared to the Tim Holtz/Tonic platform AT HALF THE COST.

  12. Kel Habicht July 20, 2018 at 6:41 am #

    dag sounds like a cease and desist.

  13. Lercy Rubin July 20, 2018 at 7:55 am #

    I have been happily using the Tonic Stamp Platform since I disposed of my MISTI ages ago. Was going to get the Travel Size platform for my birthday, but as soon as I saw this announcement, I ordered it along with the sleeve. Should I ever need a replacement, I will order it from Europe.

  14. creatingincolors July 20, 2018 at 8:31 am #

    I’m looking forward to hearing more about the larger agreement and the ongoing business relationship between the two companies. That sounds like good news! I like to stay positive and look at the bright side.

    • Trish July 20, 2018 at 11:55 am #

      Yes, that is positive & I agree! Maybe the two companies are going to team up and create something better than both products!!!

    • speedcatbeth July 25, 2018 at 1:38 am #

      Yeah, for her. TH is a much bigger name. Better products.

  15. Ohhh Snap July 20, 2018 at 10:44 am #

    They are not the same. The misti doesn’t have open sides, doesn’t have a detachable top, It also costs the earth and is dainty AF, what with the special cleaners required to keep it from cracking. I have the big ass size, it is cumbersome. WTF.

  16. Trish Gutusket July 20, 2018 at 11:52 am #

    What ever happened to free yrade? Thought the US stood again monopoly s. Seems like now more and more people are being greedy and wanting it all to them seleves. So now is MSP going after Stampin Up for their Stamparatus which is NOTHING like any of the other two.

    • R Titus July 21, 2018 at 5:50 pm #

      Free trade does not mean you can steal a design that is patented. If you invented a product and got it patented because it is unique, then no one has the right to copy it, even if it’s not exactly the same. Tonic may be the better product, and MISTI certainly is not known for good customer service, but those aren’t relevant to the issue. The issue is that the MISTI was developed first and got a patent. Tonic should have gone to them and negotiated a contract that allowed the Tonic product to be developed under a license agreement.

      • Cardmaker July 24, 2018 at 2:03 pm #

        Agree

      • Rosetta Jenkins November 11, 2018 at 11:36 am #

        Titus! TU for common sense and stating the facts. I have been floored by the criticism. BTW, I am #1 Tim Holtz fan. Tonic Studios is not Tim Holtz who, BTW, has a trademark on his name. So guys, let’s support an inventor who protected her product and her rights.

  17. Sesil July 20, 2018 at 11:55 am #

    I was wondering did little petunia have any issues with the Hampton arts stamp tool or was that the for rebranding? Just wondering.

    • Lisa Miller July 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

      Hampton Arts was one of the first that had to remove their from the market.

  18. Dee July 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm #

    I just rushed to Amazon and bought my Tim Holtz platform!!! Whew! That was close! Have been wanting one for a while now and this news is terrible. I won a MISTI on a blog hop a while back and then they didn’t send it to me. I had to go round and round to finally get it. I learned through several rounds of correspondence with the company what a terrible company they are to do business with. After the way they treated me and other winners I found out about, I will never do business with them again! And now will they be going after We R Memory Keepers and Hampton Art? They have stamp platforms, too! I was hoping Tonic and those two would take over the market! LOL!

  19. Never buying a MISTI July 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m done with Tonic if they do business with the MISTI owner. She is not someone I ever want to do business with.

    • Will never support MSP October 4, 2018 at 2:21 am #

      LOVE your user name! I feel exactly the same way you do. I will not support MSP in any way. I felt bad for them at first—until I read the owner’s vile threats and bullying on a thread on SCS. I was in shock and vowed to never spend a penny on any of their products.

    • Rosetta Jenkins November 11, 2018 at 11:39 am #

      Make sure you got your facts straight before u condemn. It is so easy for people to hate a woman inventor. If Illiana was a man, there would be no issue. And don’t tell me gender has nothing to do with it.

  20. Rira July 20, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

    Totally disappointed about this settlement! Lost all respect for Sweet Petunia. How many gazillion cutters are out there? You don’t see Fiskars trying to impede the sales of other companies cutters. Disappointed & disgusted!

  21. Jan Miller July 20, 2018 at 5:27 pm #

    Any issues with the Stampin’ Up stamp platform? I have the Tim Holtz Platforms and would never invest in the way too expensive Misti.

  22. Catherine Thorpe July 20, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

    I am torn. As I fully support small business and have an very small idea of how hard it is to take a great idea and make it successful I understand why My Sweet Petunia wanted to protect their product. No one else came up with anything remotely similar until after they created theirs. On the other hand, the other brands do have features that are different. Tough call for me.

    • Laura Lee July 23, 2018 at 10:44 pm #

      Catherine there is nothing new about the Misti…she took ages old stamp press technology and added a twist. It’s NOT NEW. She just got a patent (when she shouldn’t have). I like the Tonic product and won’t ever spend a dime on Ms. Petunia product.

  23. Gab July 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm #

    Looking forward to hearing more about the future …

  24. Anna Carpenter July 20, 2018 at 10:07 pm #

    I looked at both and went with Tim’s after watching several videos on them. His is far more durable and you can do so much more with it size wise with paper. She had a good idea and yes it was her idea. Tonic should have offered to buy her patent because I honestly can’t see anyone buying the junk version when they could get the better one. So she had to see a dramatic drop in her sales. I feel bad for Tim because he did build a better mousetrap.

    • R Titus July 21, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

      You shouldn’t feel bad for Tim Holtz. Not only has he made a fortune with his crafting products, but he and/or Tonic knowingly copied the basic design of the MISTI that was patented and didn’t offer to buy a license from MISTI to develop another product. There should be no sympathy for a thief, even if he does produce a better product.

      • Jeanene Rasmussen July 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

        Do you have some type of insider information that you know whether Tonic contacted the owners of Misti? Tonic made one that is similar not exactly the same. I am sure they felt theirs was different enough to sell and they were right. Tonic outsold the Misti. The quality is better and their customer service is top notch,

        • Nancy Nally July 25, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

          No insider information necessary. The story of what transpired between the companies when the Tonic stamp platform was introduced is in the publicly accessible court filings.

          Plus, it would not have made sense from a legal and financial standpoint for Tonic to offer to license a patent that they claimed didn’t apply to their product.

          • Never buying a MSP product October 4, 2018 at 2:25 am #

            @Nancy : you’re woefully misinformed about the timeline. MSP didn’t invent the stamping platform. You should also see how the owner bullied people online who were sharing how they’d been making their own stamping platforms for YEARS before she brought her unoriginal MISTI to market. She was awful.

          • Will not support MSP October 4, 2018 at 2:29 am #

            @Nancy : I apologize. My reply was meant for R Titus, not you.

      • RavenPoe August 24, 2018 at 2:08 am #

        R Titus — Did you not understand that the Misti is NOT a new invention? SP DID NOT invent anything, therefore… how can anyone steal HER design? Tonic & Tim Holtz are NOT thieves. Get your facts straight.

  25. Lisa Miller July 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

    Not sure why you are disappointed in Tim. He did not build the stamp platform. A number of companies came out with better made, more reasonably priced stamping platforms. This one had enough differences than the MISTI to have not trigger a lawsuit first time around. Guess she will go after We R Memory Keepers, next. 🙁

  26. Nancy Nally July 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm #

    A few factual notes to add to the discussion:

    At the time it appears that Tonic, Hampton Art, and several other companies began developing their stamp tools in 2016, My Sweet Petunia had actually already had their patent DENIED. They later reapplied with a revised patent application at a time when other companies already had their tools in production and won the patent that time – a turn of events that I do not think was expected by many people. So from a legal standpoint, when other companies began developing their tool, they believed that the U.S. Patent office had said that was fine. But then the Patent Office later changed its mind. It’s expensive to develop and produce a tool like that. No company in their right mind would have embarked on that process if they thought that they were going to be looking at a patent issue with the product that would result in its being pulled from the market almost immediately after introduction.

    The MSP patent for the MISTI is narrow, extremely specific about the platform’s design. It is not a general patent for the concept of a stamp platform. This is why we are now seeing companies like We R Memory Keepers and Stampin’ Up! able to come to market recently with new platforms. They were able to figure out designs that didn’t violate the very specific description in the patent, but it took time to bring them to market.

  27. Marianne B in AZ July 22, 2018 at 10:38 am #

    Personally, I say this is one for the the “little people” who come up with great ideas and just don’t happen to have the backing of a huge company. I doubt anyone here, including me, has a clear understanding of how patent laws work. It is more complicated than if you liked Tonic’s (with Tim’s name on it), or if you are concerned with something else about the case.

  28. Celia Magro July 24, 2018 at 7:24 am #

    Tonic designed a more durable product and at a better price point. I can’t be the only person who feels MSP is guilty of price gouging. Sizzix prevailed over Spellbinders and it changed the game for everyone. I don’t see the difference. The Tonic product opened options. That’s what competition is about. I resent that MSP is trying to hold the market captive.

    • Marge Kaufmann July 26, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

      No one says you have to buy any one of these. Quit feeling like you have to choice here.

  29. Marge Kaufmann July 26, 2018 at 2:23 pm #

    Everyone has their own opinion and you are not going to change any minds. Get over it already

    • Pat Gasko September 4, 2018 at 9:59 am #

      That’s not the point if we let anyone and everyone including terrorists have their way with our laws where would America and Americans end up!

  30. Dee July 27, 2018 at 7:26 pm #

    I wrote in earlier in this discussion saying that I had just ordered my Tonic platform when I heard this news about it being pulled from the U.S. It just came today and WOW!!!!! I am SO THRILLED with it!!!!! It is so much sturdier and user friendly than the Misti. I am SO HAPPY that I was able to get one before it was too late!!!!!!!! Looking forward to many years of stamping with this Tonic product that is even better than I expected it to be!!!!

  31. Kim Stewart August 5, 2018 at 6:23 pm #

    Why not Hampton Art? Their Stamp Platorm Looks EXACTLY like that other pink one just done in a different color…Why’d she pick TH and Tonic only?

    • Nancy Nally August 5, 2018 at 9:39 pm #

      The MISTI patent is written extremely narrowly. Perhaps the new version of the Hampton Art tool is just enough different to not be covered by the patent.

    • Bon August 10, 2018 at 8:39 pm #

      From what I remember when researching stamping platforms, she did go after Hampton Arts and WRMK for their stamping platforms.That’s why they had to pull them. I know I will never support her in her business because of her attitude and lack of “customer service.”, I prefer good customer service and that a company stand behind their product. I grabbed a WRMK unit before they were required to pull them off. I love it and it makes it easier for me to stamp despite my hands shaking due to essential tremor and not have to have multiple units just to stamp different sizes..

  32. K Bates August 17, 2018 at 4:04 am #

    I am a Tim and Tonic fan. I have both sizes of their platforms and they work great. I will not buy a Misti because it is priced at twice the price of the Tonic platform and feel it is a better made product. And I have heard from some people about her attitude and lack of customer service so I will not be purchasing any of her products.

  33. Amy M August 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm #

    I do not feel these stamp platforms are similar enough for this to be happening. I totally understood when they went after the Hampton Arts one that looked like a direct copy, but I think this is just really petty. I have both a Misti and a Tim Holtz platform and I feel like they are completely different. I will not be buying any other Misti products or support their brand in any way. If your product is a good product and people like your company then there is no reason to go after other brands this way unless you are vindictive and greedy.

  34. Amber MacMurtry August 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm #

    These are the Exact specifications of the MSP patent for the MISTI–the TH platform (and all others on the market, currently, are in clear violation of the patent as granted (even the Stamparatus).
    “The Tonic Product, including the specific features shown in Exhibit 2 to this
    Complaint, includes all the features of Claim 1 of the ’909 Patent, including:
    a substantially rectangular base comprising a base width, a base length and
    a base periphery defining a perimeter of the base;
    a workspace configured to support a stampable substrate having a
    widthwise edge and a lengthwise edge;
    a widthwise rigid raised side portion attached to the base and extending
    generally parallel to the base width, the widthwise rigid raised side portion being
    raised relative to an upper surface of the workspace, adjacent to the periphery of
    the base, and including indicia spaced at regular intervals in the form of a
    rectangular ruler, the widthwise rigid raised side portion bordering the workspace
    Case 1:17-cv-00364-UNA Document 1 Filed 04/03/17 Page 6 of 13 PageID #: 6
    7
    and providing a structure against which the widthwise edge of the stampable
    substrate may be positioned;
    a lengthwise rigid raised side portion attached to the base and extending
    generally parallel to the base length, the lengthwise rigid raised side portion being
    raised relative to the upper surface of the workspace, adjacent to the periphery of
    the base, and including indicia spaced at regular intervals in the form of a
    rectangular ruler, the lengthwise rigid raised side portion bordering the workspace
    and providing a structure against which the lengthwise edge of the stampable
    substrate may be positioned, the lengthwise rigid raised side portion and the
    widthwise rigid raised side portion meeting at a corner having an angle of
    approximately ninety degrees;
    a substantially rectangular cover portion comprising gridlines and
    connected to the base by at least one hinge, the substantially rectangular cover
    portion configured to pivot from an open position in which the substantially
    rectangular cover portion does not contact the widthwise and lengthwise rigid
    raised side portions to a closed position in which the substantially rectangular
    cover portion rests on the widthwise and lengthwise rigid raised side portions, the
    substantially rectangular cover portion comprising an interior surface facing the
    base when the substantially rectangular cover portion is in the closed position, the
    interior surface configured to accept an ink stamp, the substantially rectangular
    cover portion substantially covering the base when the substantially rectangular
    cover portion is in the closed position;
    Case 1:17-cv-00364-UNA Document 1 Filed 04/03/17 Page 7 of 13 PageID #: 7
    8
    wherein the substantially rectangular cover portion is translucent or clear
    and is configured to allow a user to see a stampable substrate on the workspace
    when the substantially rectangular cover portion is in the closed position.”
    Citation – http://insight.rpxcorp.com/litigation_documents/12399889

    While I am personally surprised MSP was able to obtain a patent with such broad specifications, the reality is she was granted a patent for her product by the US government. Patents need to be protected or they have no value, and MSP has every right to do so. I am a MISTI owner, but even I don’t think she’s doing her business or its reputation any favors by being such a dog with a bone about this. In my oppinon, she would be better served by taking this as an opportunity to improve upon her own product and make it live up to its pretentious name. Tonic and the other companies began production on their products when MSP’s first patent was denied. By the time her appeal was accepted and her patent was granted, they had too much invested to not bring the product to market. I think they were rolling the dice that she would see how much of an effort they made to change & improve upon her basic design, to make it their own & address techniques the MISTI can’t be used for, easily or at all. Sadly, she did not see it that way and has decided to snuff out all competition, which will ultimately drive customers away from her business anyway. They will resort back to creating their own DIY versions or ordering from overseas, where her patent isn’t valid.

  35. Lori Reynolds August 23, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    I looked at the Misti and decided there was no way I was going to pay that much. I would make my own. Then TH came out with one and I pre-ordered it so I could get it right away. Much better product and less money. I love it! It makes things so much easier. I can understand miss priss being upset that someone made something better than hers, but she should just improve hers and leave everyone else alone. Competition is what improves things for all of us. From looking at the videos of both, they are enough different to me that this is a ridiculous lawsuit.

  36. Malvina Forsythe September 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm #

    Does anyone own a smart phone? How similar is the Samsung to the IPhone? The Tim Holtz stamp positioned is way more different from the MISTI than the Samsung is from the IPhone. That patent given to the My Sweet Petunia is quite vague. Shame on the US Patent office.

    • Melissa Shultz October 5, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

      You obviously don’t know much about technology. There are plenty of differences between Samsung phones and Apple phones. There is more to the phone than just the look. The technology inside and the software are completely different.

  37. Vess October 10, 2018 at 5:01 am #

    I remember the first year MISTI came out (and was patent pending), one YouTuber made a diy version with a picture frame or something like that. Her video was later replaced with an explanation and a screenshot from an email that MSP has threatened to sue because of patent infringement (and not in a polite way too)… And other diy youtubers had had the email. That is when I lost respect and decided never to buy one, because of how MSP outright and openly threatened in an almost aggressive manner.

    However, I did get one as a present from my bf (I live in Europe so shipping was almost as expensive as the tool for him, I Checked) and I could not get used to it. Over 1.5 years I had it, used it often, with bad results and struggling. Now that I have had the Tonic platform for about an year I can say with certainty – I love my Tonic platform way more that the MISTI. I can actually stamp properly now:)

  38. Cheryl McGregor October 21, 2018 at 5:27 pm #

    My Sweet Petunia needs to get customer friendly pricing, better customer service, and improve the Misti and they wouldn’t have to worry about people buying other brands. Crafters want companies to stand behind their products and make them easy to use and clean.

    • Susan Keitch December 1, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

      But she can’t upgrade the MISTI. Not without infringing TONIC. Her creation will always be what it is. Overpriced flimsy tat with an aggressive owner.

  39. Beth Fairweather October 23, 2018 at 8:48 pm #

    But the Tonic platform can still be purchased, at least at JoAnn’s for like $23. I plan to get one and use it on my blog and videos whether it’s available or not. Why bloggers and crafters feel they have to kiss MISTI’s behind is beyond me. I had two myself and both cost me $$$ and were so flimsy, the mini one warped something horrible. I won’t have another one.

  40. Lori October 24, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

    If everyone boycotts MISTI, then she won’t be in business. Would serve her right for being so nasty. If she had a great product like some of the others, she wouldn’t have to be. I’m glad I didn’t purchase one from her before Tim’s came out. I love his! I use it all the time. It’s built to last!

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