Sharon Yu of Magic Cook scored a deal with Daymond in episode 612: she accepted a deal for $100K for 33% of her business. Some interesting information came to light since the episode aired. A company called Dokdo, Ltd claims THEY own the patent to the “heating container” technology. They claim Sharon Yu used their product, called Baro Cook, to create a knock off product: Magic Cook.
They make some serious allegations, but it appears the Baro Cook people are trying to get publicity. Shark Tank would never knowingly air a company that's making false patent claims. That didn't stop Baro Cook from making some serious allegations.
Knock Off Allegations
Shark Tank Blog had the following posted on its Facebook Page:
It has come to our attention that your Shark Tank program intends to air a show on Friday, November 19, 2014, that features Sharon Yu and David Su, who are seeking funding for a flameless cooking product called “The Magic Cook Heated Lunch Box and Thermos".
Please be advised that Dokdo, Ltd. is the owner of the technology on which this product is based, as reflected in patents issued in China, Korea, Germany, Russia and Canada. Dokdo also has a patent application on this product that is currently pended the US Patent and Trademark office based on our international patents.
Dokdo developed the flameless cooking system in 2008. Last year, Dokdo had direct negotiations with the two entrepreneurs behind Magic Cook regarding a potential business relationship for the distribution of Dokdo's product. In the course of these negotiations, Dokdo provided the entrepreneurs with samples of our product and related marketing materials. These negotiations ended in December 2013. Shortly thereafter, the entrepreneurs introduced their knock-off Magic Cook product.
Dokdo has information that the Magic Cook product is being produced in China in violation of our Chinese patents. It is Dokdo's intention to protect fully our intellectual property rights based on our Chinese patent and on our US patent once it issues, by asserting claims for patent infringement and unfair competition, among others.
We are very concerned that the planned airing of the Shark Tank episode featuring this product will confuse potential investors, distributors, customers, bloggers and others into believing falsely that Magic Cook is the rightful owner and inventor/developer of this unique proprietary product. This confusion will cause serious injury and damage to Dokdo and to Dokdo's US distributors as we introduce our product in the US.
We do not think that Shark Tank would want to involve itself in this controversy by implicitly endorsing the regrettable actions of Ms. Yu and Mr. Su described above, and presenting them as the type of creative, hard-working entrepreneur with a high level of integrity that Shark Tank was created to assist. This would reflect poorly on the reputation of Shark Tank.
Those are serious allegations. They claim Magic Cook essentially stole their technology and created a nearly identical knock off product. Upon further investigation, Dokdo's patent claims appear legitimate. Here is part of the abstract of their US patent application:
Provided is a heating container simply cooks or heats foods using a heater without help of a heating device required for cooking during the outdoor leisure activation such as climbing or fishing. The heating container includes a main body in which a heater is inserted and water is poured, a built-in container inserted into the main body, the built-in container providing a space for cooking foods therein, and a sealing cover sealing an opened upper portion of the built-in container, the sealing cover being coupled to the main body when the built-in container is sealed.
Here is a link to more information about Dokdo's patent, including drawings.
I don't claim to be a patent expert or wise in the ways of Chinese manufacturing, but on the surface, it looks fishy. If Daymond finds this information out during the due diligence process, he won't close on this deal. Shark Tank isn't about promoting knock off products. Check out the products for yourself:
Magic Cook's Reply **Updated 1/28/2015**
Sharon Yu reached out to the Shark Tank Blog and had this to say in response to these allegations:
I just want to drop a line and say think you for the coverage on our Shark Tanks appearance about 2 months ago.
We are trying to update our website with those who had covered our story.
We want to ask you for permission on putting your SharkTankBlog logo to be on our site. Your logo would be in a group with “abc, Shark Tank, Business Insider, The Trucker, INC, PPB, Food Network, Bobby Flay, Canoe & Kayak, Ski Magazine.
But we realized there were someone who left false comments about us under your article. Would you be able to please remove it?
Both Daymond & I are aware of the companies who is trying to get 15 minutes of fame from trying to give false statements. ABC also deleted their comment on Shark Tank's Facebook page for us.
The fact the they had emailed to ABC about they hold the patent without actually having one clearly shows the unethical business practice behind their brand. For your information, our attorney also made public statement about their claim. Our corporate name is Dynamic Solutions Group, Inc. as we've been in business for over 20 years we do not take such matter lightly. Before we went on Shark Tank they've checked on our background including patent before it was aired and I am including an attorney letter to show that what they've claimed is merely a application number which Magic Cook also have. (see attached)
We will be updating your logo to our site with your permission. We understand Shark Tank Blog is one of the most influential blog and we hope you will listen to both side of story before you made any posting. Daymond would never be part of Magic Cook if its were truth. Please visit social media www.facebook.com/magiccooklines for most up to date news.
We hope to include your logo as we get lots of traffic after the Shark Tank and possible reruns in the future.
I am impressed with your site and notice you are running the contests for your viewers. We also donate our merchandise to many bloggers who review our products. Please feel free to let me know if you wish to receive samples for you or your viewers. Thanks
PS: your logo will be above the PPAI logo once you've approved.
Here is a copy of Magic Cook's Attorney's letter:
What we apparently have here is a knock off company (Baro Cook) attempting to ride the Shark Tank bandwagon by creating controversy. Ms. Yu and Daymond (and their lawyers) are not taking this lightly. Patent law is a convoluted, complex, and often messy area of the law, but this situation is a good example of why a patent is so important. We wish Sharon, Daymond, and Magic Cook the best with this situation and hope it is resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
Shark Tank Blog will follow-up as more information becomes available.