EMERYVILLE, Calif., Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- f'real continues to prevail against Hamilton Beach and the Hershey Creamery Company. In two new decisions, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("Patent Office") again reaffirmed the validity of the self-cleaning blender patent portfolio of f'real foods, Inc. ("f'real"). On July 21, 2017, the Patent Office summarily rejected a challenge to the validity of f'real's U.S. Patent No. 7,144,150 ("'150 patent") by Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. ("Hamilton Beach"). Ten days later, the Patent Office summarily rejected for the second time Hamilton Beach's challenge to f'real's U.S. Patent No. 7,520,658 ("'658 patent"). f'real is a pioneer in the field of frozen, self-serve milkshake, smoothie and frozen coffee products and is sold at over 18,000 locations across the United States and Canada, including convenience stores, colleges, universities and military bases.
On October 3, 2014, f'real filed a patent enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to prevent Hamilton Beach and its partner, Hershey Creamery Company ("Hershey Creamery"), from continuing to copy the self-cleaning blender inventions described in f'real's '150 and '658 patents. Hamilton Beach responded by petitioning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine the validity of these patents. Hamilton Beach's initial challenge to f'real's '658 patent was summarily rejected by the Patent Office on November 30, 2016.
The July, 2017 decisions rejected Hamilton Beach's subsequent challenges to the '150 and '658 patents by denying Hamilton Beach's request for institution of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. In a strongly worded opinion, the Patent Office Trial and Appeal Board scolded Hamilton Beach for "impos[ing] unnecessary demands on the finite resources of the Board." Moreover, the Patent Office agreed with f'real's interpretation of the '150 and '658 patents for the purpose of proving infringement by Hamilton Beach and Hershey Creamery.
As a result of this decision, f'real plans to vigorously proceed with its efforts in Delaware District Court to prevent Hamilton Beach and Hershey from continuing to infringe f'real's valuable self-cleaning blender patent rights by seeking a permanent injunction and asking the court to order a recall of all infringing blenders.
President of f'real, Dinsh Guzdar, said, "f'real's invention of the self-cleaning blender created the self-serve, frozen milkshake market. These Patent Office decisions vindicate the value and importance of f'real's proprietary technology. We take patent infringement very seriously and we will continue to protect our proprietary ownership. f'real looks forward to continued innovation and growth as the top novelty product in convenience stores."
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded f'real 16 U.S. patents for its innovative self-serve blender technologies.
About f'real foods
Established in 1998, f'real foods designs, sells and markets blended frozen beverages in more than 18,000 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, all made with real ingredients. f'real foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rich Products Corporation based in Emeryville, CA. For more information, visit freal.com.
Allison Lewin, f'real foods
SOURCE f’real foods