Mehl/Group Marketing

MEHL/Group Marketing

One of the most venerable names in the world of unproven electric tweezer devices is Thomas Mehl. First cleared over 20 years ago, Mehl’s electric tweezer scams are currently marketed under the names Finally Free and NU-trolysis.

Updates:

On 30 August 2001, I was contacted by Thomas Mehl Jr. about facts on this site which he stated were untrue. On 1 November 2001, I received a follow-up from his wife Jackie Mehl, who wrote, "I am working on, in great deal, the work of Tom, Sr. with reports due within the next two weeks." I presented a list of questions and will report back upon receipt and analysis of their documentation.

On 14 November 2001, I received a note from Greg Gilbert of Finally Free, telling his side of the story about dealing with Thomas Mehl, the Nardo Zaias laser patent, and the Finally Free device. The full text is printed below. I responded with a list of questions and will report back upon receipt and analysis of his answers.

Contact information

Address: 221 Boston Post Road East, Marlboro, MA 01752
Telephone: 508-481-9495 orders (800) 506-9430
Fax: 508-460-9541
Contact: Thomas Blake, R. Ph.
Greg F. Gilbert:  gfgilbert@MSN.COM 916-988-8950
Thomas Mehl, Jr.  HDTLM@aol.com
website:  http://www.finallyfree.com/
http://www.biophile.com/
http://hamclarke.com/
email:  customerservice@finallyfree.com

Available devices

Epilator name FDA 510(k) Cleared
Finally Free K972695 10/22/97
Epilation Type Device K780348 05/18/78

Notes

1. FDA application correspondence is addressed to: 48 Mt. Olive Rd. Budd Lake, NJ 07828

A reader writes:

I just remembered that I have a couple of news articles from 1990-91 (attached), on Selvac’s problems with FDA. I don’t quite understand the nature of the dispute, but it kept Finally Free off of the U.S. market for a time.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/726608/0000943376-95-000013.txt

Since January 1990, the Company has been engaged in an ongoing dispute with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the marketing status for Finally Free Hair Remover for personal (non-professional) use. In June 1991, the Company agreed not to manufacture, process, pack, label, promote, advertise, distribute, or sell Finally Free Hair Remover unless it received marketing authorization from the FDA. Subsequently, the Company received approval to export this product to Canada.

In July 1994, the FDA determined that Finally Free shall be considered a Class III device under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and accordingly, will require premarket approval before it is sold, manufactured or distributed in the U.S. Presently, management is of the opinion that the potential benefit to the Company, of obtaining premarket approval, would not justify the cost. However, the Company has entertained discussions with entities willing to subsidize a significant portion of the cost. Although no agreements have resulted from these discussions, management intends to continue to pursue arrangements under which the Company will not have to absorb the entire cost of the FDA approval process.

As of August 31, 1995, the carrying value of intangible assets relating to the Domestic Finally Free product, consisting primarily of patents, is $150,000.

I don’t recall the exact nature of the relationship between Selvac and Mehl, but my impression is that it was not friendly. If I recall correctly, Selvac had the marketing rights, and Mehl was unhappy with their lack of progress of getting the product to market in the U.S.

There is more in this SEC filing:

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/726608/0000943376-96-000004.txt

On April 22, 1985, the Company acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of (a) The Mehl International Corporation (Mehl) and (b) Nutrolysis International Corporation (Nutrolysis) for 1,000,000 and 100,000 shares, respectively, of common stock of the Company. Certain additional cash payments were made, and royalty payments of 2% of net Finally Free Hair Remover (Finally Free) worldwide sales collections are being made to the stockholders of Mehl. As part of the acquisition, the Company was assigned the rights to an exclusive License Agreement with Thomas L. Mehl, Jr., the inventor of Finally Free, for the licensed patent rights to his invention. The Agreement calls for payments of $1.50 per unit royalty for the first 500,000 units and $1.00 per Finally Free unit thereafter for the life of the patents. All royalties are based on net unit sales. Royalty expense under the agreements for fiscal years ended May 31, 1995, 1994, and 1993 was approximately $53,000, $64,000 and $96,000 respectively. An additional 100,000 shares of common stock of the company were issued by the Company to an investment banker for services in connection with the acquisition. Mehl was the owner of the Finally Free hair removal appliance described below.

Effective January 1, 1988, the Company merged the assets of its two wholly owned subsidiaries, The Mehl International Corporation and Nutrolysis International Corporation into Selvac Corporation. The subsidiaries were liquidated in order to reduce the administrative costs associated with maintaining more than one corporation.

The Company entered the personal care appliance business in 1985 with its acquisition of Mehl and Nutrolysis. Mehl owned the rights to a proprietary patented method of hair removal that uses directed radio frequency waves. This technology is employed in two products – a consumer appliance sold under the trade name Finally Free and a professional appliance sold under the trade name NU-Trolysis.

Both Finally Free and NU-Trolysis use the same energy, radio frequency. The unit’s patented plated tips grasp the unwanted hair above the skin line. There is no needle, no head, and no pain. The radio frequency is transmitted from the unit to the hair where it works to weaken the chemical structure of the hair so that it can be easily removed.

Selvac has the worldwide rights to manufacture and sell products sold under the patented Mehl method to hair removal. The United States patents relating to hair removal system expire in 1996. The Company holds trademarks for the names "Selvac", "Finally Free", and "NU-Trolysis". Expiration of US patents is not expected to have a significant impact on the Company’s operations or financial condition.

I just found the reference to the legal dispute between Mehl and Selvac. Looks like he got control of Selvac as part of the settlement:

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/726608/0000950123-96-004785.txt

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

The Company holds an exclusive license with Thomas L. Mehl, Sr. for certain enumerated patents as well as Mehl’s new inventions in the hair removal field. See Item 1. "Business – Selvac Division." A dispute arose as to the Company’s compliance with the terms of that license and as to the termination of the license. On March 20, 1991, the Company filed a complaint in the Federal District Court in Massachusetts (Civil Action No. 91-10868-Z) against Mr. Mehl. After consummation of the Merger, each of Mehl and the Company entered into a full settlement and release on June 14, 1996 with respect to the litigation and will dismiss all claims against each other. Neither party was or will be paid any money or other consideration from the other in connection with such settlement and release.

2. Mehl has done business under numerous company names over the years:

  • Selvac Corporation 1752 Limekiln Pike Dresher PA 19025
  • Mehl Group Marketing 4020 Newberry Road Gainesville, FL 32607 (352) 373-2565
  • Mehl Consumer Products Division
  • Classy Lady by Mehl of Puerto Rico
  • Mehl/Biophile 4127 N.W. 27th Lane, Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32606
  • Biophile USA Inc. 8776 Killdee #100 Orangevale, CA 95662 916-988-8950
  • Hamilton-Clarke 7321 Roseville Road, Sacramento, CA95842
    Tel: (916) 331 3300 facsimile: (916)331 8410
  • 1201 North China Lake Blvd. Ridgecrest
  • preying on desperation of those affected by the closure of McClellan Air Force Base and China Lake Naval Station
  • hamclarke@aol.com

Mehl Consumer Division (FINALLYFREE-DOM)
   7321 Roseville Road, Suite 10 Sacramento, CA 95842

Domain Name: FINALLYFREE.COM

   Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact:
      Gilbert, GF  (GG877)  gfgilbert@MSN.COM
      Biophile USA Inc. 8776 Killdee #100 Orangevale, CA 95662 916-988-8950

NETlimited (NETBLK-NETLIMITED-2)
   3250 Wilshire Blvd. #707 Los Angeles, CA 90010
      +1-213-252-9779 (FAX) +1-213-368-2341

BIOPHILE.COM Administrative Contact:
Kegelmann, Harald W (HK111) kegel@FDT.NET
Florida Digital Turnpike
2002 NW 13th Street, Suite 250
Gainesville, FL 32609
(352) 372-5100 (FAX) (352) 372-1740
352-375-2912 x4375 (FAX) 352-375-2702
Billing Contact:
William S. Burdick (BB4557) wsburdic@GNV.FDT.NET
352-373-2565

Registrant:
Biophile USA Inc. (HAMCLARKE-DOM)
   8776 Killdee #100
   Orangevale, CA 95662

   Domain Name: HAMCLARKE.COM

   Administrative Contact, Billing Contact:
      Gilbert, GF  (GG877)  gfgilbert@MSN.COM
      Biophile USA Inc. 8776 Killdee #100 Orangevale, CA 95662
      916-988-8950
   Technical Contact:
      DNS Administrator  (DA6173-ORG)  DNS@NAMESERVE.NET
      Nameserve Systems 3326 160th Ave SE Suite 400 Bellevue, WA 98008 Fax- 425.643.1477
hamclarke.com resolves to 66.111.65.155
LightRealm Communications (NETBLK-LR-BLK7) LR-BLK7 66.111.64.0 – 66.111.95.255
HostPro (NETBLK-HSTPROSEA-FRDM64) HSTPROSEA-FRDM64 66.111.64.0 – 66.111.67.255

Registrant:
Mehl Consumer Division FINALLYFREE-DOM
221 Boston Post Rd. East
Marlboro, MA 01752
US

Domain Name: FINALLYFREE.COM

Administrative Contact:
Alving, Patrica PA2288 support@FINALLYFREE.COM
508-481-9495
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Orbit Hostmaster OH51-ORG domreg@OS.COM
1-508-753-8776
Billing Contact:
Alving, Patrica PA2288 support@FINALLYFREE.COM
508-481-9495

Record last updated on 04-May-98.
Record created on 04-May-98.
Database last updated on 5-Dec-98 04:26:06 EST.

Domain servers in listed order:

NS1.OS.COM 209.113.221.6
NS2.OS.COM 209.113.221.3

http://www.biophile.com/

Registrant:
Mehl / Biophile Intn’l, Inc. BIOPHILE-DOM
4127 N.W. 27th Lane, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32606
US

Domain Name: BIOPHILE.COM

Administrative Contact:
Kegelmann, Harald W HK111 kegel@FDT.NET
(904) 222-5200 (FAX) (904) 222-4554
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Lewis, Jonathan JL799 jlewis@FDT.NET
352-372-3964 (FAX) 352-372-1740
Billing Contact:
Burdick, Bill BB4557 wsburdic@GNV.FDT.NET
352-373-2565

Record last updated on 15-May-97.
Record created on 15-May-97.
Database last updated on 5-Dec-98 04:26:06 EST.

Registrant:
Florida Digital Turnpike FDT-DOM
2002 NW 13 Street, Suite 250
Gainesville, FL 32609
US

Domain Name: FDT.NET

Administrative Contact:
Kegelmann, Harald W HK111 kegel@FDT.NET
(904) 222-5200 (FAX) (904) 222-4554
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Lewis, Jonathan JL799 jlewis@FDT.NET
352-372-3964 (FAX) 352-372-1740
Billing Contact:
Kegelmann, Harald W HK111 kegel@FDT.NET
(904) 222-5200 (FAX) (904) 222-4554

Record last updated on 17-Aug-98.
Record created on 26-May-95.
Database last updated on 5-Dec-98 04:26:06 EST.


Stock notes

Their pinksheets.com profile

HCHB — MEHL/Biophile International Corp. (DE)
Com (1 Cent)Current Capital Change: None
Dividends: None
State of Incorporation: DE
Formerly=Selvac Corp. until June 1996
In March, 2000, their Charter was declared void and inoperative by Delaware’s Secretary of State for failure to pay taxes.
New Issue=12-83 2,600,000 shs in units (4 shs Com & 4 Warr 12-5-88) at $5 per unit by Newcomb Capital Corp.

Listed on drtv.com as a client served by Ellentuck & Springer, Inc. for the Fuinally Free device.

See the Mehl discussions on:

stock-talk.com

ragingbull.com

PriceWaterhouseCoopers lists filings for:

Selvac
Mehl
Hamilton Biophile


Patent infringement case notes

United States Patent 5,647,866 Zaias ,  et al. July 15, 1997

United States Patent 5,766,214 Mehl, Sr. ,  et al. June 16, 1998

To read the decision in Selvac v. Milgraum, see the Emory Law School site

The Foley & Lardner website summarizes one of the patent suits

No. 99-1038
Mehl/Biophile International Corp. Selvac Acquisitions Corp. and Nardo Zaias, M.D. v. Milgraum, M.D. Palomara Medical Tech., Inc. and Spectrum Medical Tech., Inc.
Decided September 30, 1999
* occasional results do not demonstrate inherency and do not support anticipation of a patent claim via inherency
A district court granted summary judgement of invalidity because a patent that claimed the use of a laser perpendicular to the skin to destroy pigment-containing germ cells that grow hair was anticipated by (1) a manual for a laser that describes use of the laser (not necessarily perpendicular) to remove tattoos and (2) a research paper that documented the use of a laser to selectively destroy pigmented cells in guinea pigs. The CAFC disagreed with the lower court with respect to reference (1) because the manual described use that possibly would infringe. The CAFC pointed out that "occasional results are not inherent," holding that "the manual does not inherently teach" the element of perpendicular use and thus "does not inherently teach this limitation of the claimed invention." The CAFC found the claims invalid anyway because reference (2) described all elements of the claim, including inherently using the laser perpendicular to the skin. Unfortunately the applicant did not include a claim that recites human skin or disclosure that distinguished the effect on human versus other animal skin, and all claims were anticipated by the reference to use of a laser on guinea pigs ( Polla 1987).

Week of 8 December 1996 (Courtesy of Laser Focus World)

Mehl/Biophile to terminate venture

Mehl/Biophile (Gainesville, FL) has taken action to terminate a joint venture between Laser Industries (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Mehl/Biophile’s wholly owned subsidiary Classy Lady by Mehl (Puerto Rico). The venture was formed in December 1995 when Laser Industries and Classy Lady by Mehl entered into an agreement to exploit patented laser hair-removal technology exclusively licensed to Classy Lady. The resulting company, Sharplan 2000, is 50%-owned by Classy Lady and 50% by Laser Industries and is managed exclusively by Laser Industries.

Mehl/Biophile is disputing the nature of technological and financial contributions to be made to the joint venture by Laser Industries and whether Laser Industries utilized technology within the joint venture that was developed by SLS Wales Ltd., a Welsh laser company in which Mehl acquired 81% interest in June 1996. SLS has commenced a separate action in England against Laser Industries and SLS’s manufacturer to prevent Laser Industries from using SLS technology and to stop SLS’s manufacturer from supplying SLS technology to Laser Industries.

Zaias also runs a clinical testing service in Miami Beach, FL.

Nardo Zaias, M.D.
Greater Miami Skin and Laser Center
4302 Alton Road
Suite 1005
Miami Beach, FL 33140-2878
Phone:    (305)532-4478
FAX:    (305)532-9753

MAUREEN C. KASSNER atty of record on trademark


Note from Greg Gilbert

On 14 November 2001, I received the following note from Greg Gilbert of Finally Free.

I tend to believe much of anything bad that can be said about Thomas Mehl. However you go on to make some incorrect assumptions.

  1. The laser patent that the company had was the first patent filed on Laser hair removal. It was invented by a dermatologist who received the patent, and only lost it because the court found a technical defect in the patent itself, not in the person or its approach. In fact, many different lawyers for many different firms had strong opinions that the Court was wrong, but such is life. It is truly unfair to say that it was a bogus patent, as it was not. However we do not believe that a laser system has many benefits over other means, and has some problems.
  2. Touch & Go (Igea) was a copy of the old Mehl patent, but it did not work, and never had the power necessary to affect hair growth.
  3. The current product "Finally Free" is not a fraud as you have said. It works very well on many people. However, most importantly, you fail to mention that it was tested by an independent dermatologist, and the results were published in a peer review medical journal, which found that it was as safe and effective as eletrolisis, without the pain, redness or possible scaring. That was a very well designed and conducted medial study, and whether you personally believe something is true or not, it is actually not proper for you to call it a fraud.
  4. We found out about your site by a person who wrote to us. We appreciate that everyone has some freedom of expression, but your statement go too far and are not fair.

So, while we do not believe that Tom Mehl was anything to write home about, we are proper people, and have conducted very careful clinical studies which were peer reviewed (means something in medicine) and the company never engaged in any improper activity in the laser business. The problem with the laser business was that it would not sell for $120,000 or even at the end, for $60,000 when it cost more than that to make one. I was not involved in the company until the fall of the laser business, but I am the director of a medical research institute, conduct clinical studies for large companies, and do thing right. If you would be so kind as to correct your webiste, that would be appreicated.

Greg Gilbert, Finally Free
gilbertemail@aol.com

Status: U
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3. Mehl also made a ruby laser called Chromos 694. Most of these machines were taken back by the company in 1998, following threats of involuntary bankruptcy by their priomarty creditor and delisting from Nasdaq.

4. Similarities to Forever Free by Burke/Neutech (K952117), and the fact both are based in Florida make me suspect they may have a financial connection.

Online ordering takes you to the Hamilton-Clarke website

Mehl has added electrified patches to their scam delivery methods. These patches have not been evaluated by FDA for safety or efficacy. The three sizes for face, bikini, or legs are not reusable and are even less effective after one use. Mehl

Infomercial

Clinical studies done by a world famous dermatologist and published in Skin Research and Technology.

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