Cold as ice patent lawsuit – Coldkeepers v. Temperpack

Cold as ice patent lawsuit – Coldkeepers v. Temperpack

People typically think of electronic devices they hold in their hands or appliances that plug into the wall when they think of patented inventions.  However, patents can cover just about any type of invention. The most economically successful patents are on inventions which help solve common problems or make it easier to perform an everyday task. With the ascendance of ecommerce as the primary way consumers shop for goods, there is a quiet battle going on over patents related to the packaging that will delivery online orders to consumers.   Inventors are getting patents on new packaging methods which will deliver products to consumers, fresh and undamaged.

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a government to the inventor of an invention.  An inventor gets a patent on their invention by filing a patent application which demonstrates that the invention meets all the requirements to be granted a patent.  In the United States patent applications are reviewed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. When the United States Patent and Trademark Office receives a patent application it will review the application and determine if the invention is new, not obvious, and useful.  If the United States Patent and Trademark Office grants the patent application, the inventor will be granted the exclusive right to make, use, sell, distribute or import the invention in the United States. If someone other than the patent owner attempts to exercise one of these rights that can be considered patent infringement.  The patent owner can stop patent infringement by requesting an injunction for a court, and get money damages for patent infringement which has already happened.

A case which illustrates a packaging patent infringement lawsuit is Coldkeepers, LLC v. Temperpack Technologies, Inc., 1:18-cv-00969 (E.D.VA 2018).   The case revolves around packaging for shipping refrigerated products like fresh food and pharmaceuticals. Coldkeepers owns United States Patent No. 9,950,830, entitled “Insulated Liners and Containers”, issued on April 24, 2018 as well as U.S. Patent No. 9,980,609, entitled “Insulated Shipping Bags”,  issued on May 29, 2018. These patents relate to bags which keep their contents at a set temperature during storage and transportation. Temperpack manufactures and markets foam insulated shipping containers under the brand name “One-Piece Liner”.

Coldkeepers claims that Temperpack’s product infringes on Coldkeepers’ patents.  Coldkeepers makes a prima facie case in it’s complaint by alleging that patent infringement has occurred, and by noting the claims of the patents which are allegedly infringed, but the complaint does not explain how Temperpack’s product infringes.  It is typically a good practice in a patent infringement lawsuit to make a claim by claim comparison noting how the allegedly infringing product infringes on the claim. Claim by claim comparisons are sometimes called claim charts because the claims of the patent will be arranged in a grid with the patent claims in one column and the attributes of the infringing product in another column.  The claim chart arrangement makes it easy for judges and juries to read and understand the invention claimed in the patent.

A claim chart is not required in the initial complaint, but eventually the plaintiff will have to explain how the defendant’s product infringes each claim of the patent.  Without such an explanation, it is likely the court will rule in favor of the defendant.

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