f’real Foods says USPTO reaffirms blender patent

Blended frozen beverages company f’real Foods said the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected a challenge to the validity of its US patent no. 7,520,658 (658 patent) by Hamilton Beach Brands.

f’real said it filed a patent enforcement action on October 3, 2014 in the US District Court for the District of Delaware to stop Hamilton Beach and its partner Hershey Creamery Company “from continuing to copy the self-cleaning blender inventions described in f’real’s ‘658 patent.”

f’real said Hamilton Beach responded by petitioning the USPTO to re-examine the validity of this patent.

“The November 30 decision rejected Hamilton Beach’s patent invalidity arguments, denied Hamilton Beach’s request for institution of an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding and reaffirmed the validity of f’real’s ‘658 patent,” said f’real.

“The US Patent and Trademark Office also agreed with f’real’s interpretation of the ‘658 patent for purposes of proving infringement by Hamilton Beach and Hershey Creamery.”

As a result of this decision, f’real said it plans to “vigorously move forward with its efforts in Delaware District Court to stop Hamilton Beach and Hershey from continuing to infringe f’real’s valuable patent rights and is seeking a permanent injunction and asking the court to order a recall of all infringing blenders.”

f’real president Dinsh Guzdar said: “This decision is a critical step toward our assertion of f’real’s proprietary technology.

“We take patent infringement very seriously and we will continue to protect our patent rights. f’real looks forward to continued innovation and growth as the top novelty product in convenience stores.”