EMERYVILLE, Calif., May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal district court in Delaware has ruled in favor of f'real foods – a designer, maker and marketer of blended frozen beverages across the United States and Canada – by finding three of f'real's self-cleaning blender patents were infringed upon by defendants, Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. and Hershey Creamery Company. The jury rejected challenges to the validity of f'real's patents and awarded f'real $3.2 million in compensatory patent damages. Four previous attempts by Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. to invalidate f'real's self-cleaning blender patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office were also unsuccessful.
f'real launched its self-cleaning blender in 2003, providing consumers with the ability to quickly prepare their own milkshakes and smoothies, while offering operators the convenience of automatic sanitization. Since its inception, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded the company 16 U.S. patents for its innovative self-serve blender technologies. Today, f'real's products are sold at more than 19,000 locations across the United States and Canada, including convenience stores, colleges, universities and military bases. According to Bloomberg News, the packaged milkshake market is expected to grow to $2.7 billion by 2022.
f'real brought its Delaware patent enforcement action in 2014 asserting infringement of three f'real self-cleaning blender patents (i.e., U.S. Patent Nos. 7,520,662; 7,144,150 and 7,520,658). The Hamilton Beach blenders found to infringe are model numbers MIC2000, BIC2000, BIC3000-DQ and IMI2000. f'real intends to seek a permanent injunction against further use of the infringing blenders, including a recall of current competitive blenders infringing on its patents.
"f'real's invention of the self-cleaning blender created the self-serve milkshake market we know today," said Dinsh Guzdar, President of f'real. "The jury's verdict re-affirms the validity and strength of f'real's patents. f'real and Rich's take intellectual property seriously and we will vigorously enforce our IP and protect our patents from any future infringement."
Legal firms Sideman & Bancroft LLP, San Francisco, and Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell, Delaware, represented f'real in this case.
About f'real foods
Established in 1998, f'real foods designs, sells and markets blended frozen beverages in more than 19,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada including convenience stores, military bases and colleges & universities. The patented in-store blending systems blends delicious and authentic milkshakes, smoothies and frozen coffee products at the touch of a button in under a minute! As the #1 frozen novelty offering in convenience stores, f'real's success can be attributed to continued innovation in the category and quality products. f'real foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rich Products Corporation and is based in Emeryville, CA. For more information, visit freal.com.
SOURCE f'real foods