FSMTB Reaches Settlement in AOT Litigation
August 19, 2014
Contact: Debra Persinger, Ph.D.
Executive Director, FSMTB
firstname.lastname@example.org / 913.681.0380
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2014
(Overland Park, Kan. – August 19) – The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) has reached a settlement agreement with the Academy of Oriental Therapy, LLC, resolving the litigation filed by FSMTB. The specific terms of the agreement remain confidential.
FSMTB monitors websites, review courses, and educational programs to protect the integrity of the MBLEx and the licensure process, as well as the public served through the regulation of the profession. On November 1, 2013, FSMTB initiated litigation in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against the Academy of Oriental Therapy, LLC, a massage therapy school, and certain individuals affiliated with AOT alleging copyright infringement and trade secrets misappropriation related to the FSMTB Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). Defendants denied the allegations.
As part of the settlement, the parties agreed to the entry by the Court of a Consent Permanent Injunction that prohibits the conduct alleged by FSMTB in the litigation. As is customary in any circumstances where a breach of the examination program is alleged, and based upon materials analyzed during the litigation, FSMTB retired and replaced numerous MBLEx questions in order to ensure the continued integrity of the examination program.
The FSMTB remains committed to vigorously protecting its intellectual property interests and the security and integrity of the MBLEx. The FSMTB board of directors is appreciative of the support from FSMTB member state licensing boards and agencies, as well as the commitment of FSMTB staff and legal counsel, in resolving this matter. FSMTB vice president, Karen Armstrong, states, “This has been a very difficult process but it is of paramount importance for public protection that the integrity of the examination program and the licensure process be protected. We are pleased that this matter has been resolved.”
FSMTB is a not for profit federation whose membership consists of the massage therapy licensing boards in the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia. FSMTB provides programs and services to its member governmental boards that are created and empowered to protect the public through regulation of the profession. One such program includes the MBLEx, used by at least 42 states as one component in licensure eligibility determinations by the respective states.
The Federation’s mission is to support its member boards in their work to ensure that the practice of massage therapy is provided to the public in a safe and effective manner.