US: Heinz defends Dip & Squeeze patent in lawsuit
White says he filed for a patent, trademarked ‘CondiCup’, in 2005, which he says was the basis for the ‘Dip & Squeeze’ packets launched by Heinz in 2011
US ketchup maker Heinz has said it will "aggressively defend" its position against another lawsuit over its Dip & Squeeze condiment packets.
A patent-infringement suit filed earlier this month in the US District Court of Chicago by Scott White, claims the food giant used his idea for a new way of packaging ketchup, according to the Wall Street Journal.
White, who works for Chicago Housing Authority, claims he came up with the idea of "a flexible condiment package" that would fit in a car's drink holder and allow people to "choose between dipping finger foods and squeezing condiments onto sandwiches or other foods," the publication noted.
White says he filed for a patent, trademarked CondiCup, in 2005, which he says was the basis for the Dip & Squeeze packets launched by Heinz in 2011.
A Heinz spokesperson said the company would defend itself against the claims. "This is another frivolous lawsuit and we will aggressively defend our position and demonstrate that the allegations are groundless and without merit," the spokesperson said. "As a leader in proprietary packaging innovation for more than a century, Heinz worked for years to develop its patented dual-function Dip & Squeeze package."
The spokesperson said the company won a similar lawsuit over its Dip & Squeeze product earlier this summer.
The case was originally filed in October 2010, when David Wawrzynski sued Heinz in a Michigan court over the same product, which he claimed was based on his own Little Dipper packaging concept.
Heinz stunned the global food industry with news it had agreed to a US$28bn takeover offer from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway fund and private-equity firm 3G Capital - purported to be the larges...
Heinz chief Bill Johnson today (14 February) insisted the US food giant has the potential to get "bigger and better" under the ownership of investment funds Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital....
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