Patent fight pits Folgers against Maxwell House
Two of Americaâ€™s biggest coffee brands are involved in a legal battle over the plastic containers in which they sell their products.
Procter & Gamble Co., which sells Folgers Coffee, has filed a patent lawsuit against rival Kraft Foods Inc., well known for its Maxwell House brand. Procterâ€™s lawsuit alleges that new four-pound plastic containers for Maxwell House infringe on Procter & Gamble patents for Folgers. Procter said that it has been selling Folgers in plastic containers since 2003.â€œMany innovations in this container are covered by P&G patents, which we believe Maxwell House has infringed,â€ said Steve Jemison, chief legal officer at Procter & Gamble. â€œWe must protect our intellectual property.â€
The lawsuit has interest in Westchester County because Kraft manages the Maxwell House brand in Tarrytown.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, seeks to stop Kraft from violating the patent and unspecfied monetary damages.
Kraft released an e-mail statement denying the allegations.
â€œWe have not had a chance to review this lawsuit but Kraft does not infringe the valid patent rights of others,â€ Kraft said in the e-mail. â€œWe will vigorously defend ourselves in this matter.â€