Man sues Heinz for patent infringement over flexible packet
By Kim Leonard
Published: Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
A Chicago man is suing H.J. Heinz Co. for patent infringement, saying he pitched his “CondiCup” invention to Heinz years before it introduced Dip & Squeeze ketchup containers.
Scott White claims he came up with an idea for a flexible packet that would enable diners to dip finger foods or squeeze condiments onto foods such as sandwiches, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Illinois that seeks damages.
He emailed a Heinz executive about his then-patent-pending CondiCup in 2006 after reading about Heinz's efforts to rekindle business with McDonald's through packaging and was invited to Pittsburgh but ultimately heard nothing else for four years, the lawsuit stated.
Heinz, which introduced Dip & Squeeze in 2010, disputes White's claims.
The food producer won a similar case this summer, spokesman Michael Mullen wrote in an email on Friday.
“This is another frivolous lawsuit and we will aggressively defend our position and demonstrate that the allegations are groundless and without merit,” he said.
Heinz “worked for years to develop its patented dual-function Dip & Squeeze package,” Mullen said.
White's lawsuit stated that he filed a patent application on Oct. 25, 2005, and was issued a patent on July 31.
“That is significant,” attorney Dan Boulware, representing White, wrote in an email. “We seek to enforce (the patent) against those who are infringing. We believe Heinz to be infringing.”
Heinz said in its annual report for fiscal 2012 that it sold more than a billion packets of Dip & Squeeze in the United States during the past year, and “it is a global priority for the company.”
Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.