Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Bracket

Industries

Food Science & Packaging

Food Science 

We know that global demand increasingly influences the discipline known as food science.  Companies are responding with new innovations that address the technical aspects of food, including the development of new food products, preservation of food products, prevention of food quality degradation, and the design of processes to produce these foods.

With this in mind, to ensure you receive maximum value from your intellectual property portfolio, our food science and packaging team leverages the full suite of protection and enforcement options across a  range of sectors, including:

  • Canned and Frozen Food
  • Fish and Seafood 
  • Flavorings, Spices and Other Ingredients
  • Nutraceuticals

Food Packaging

In the area of food packaging, consumers are making their voices heard for better, safer products that are packaged with environmentally friendly materials.  Savvy businesses are responding to the call with innovations in several areas including safety and freshness, convenience, health and nutrition, environmentally friendly packaging and design.

Packaging increasingly takes into account issues like increasing shelf life, ensuring food safety and minimizing damage resulting from microbial attack.  Changing demographics and attitudes are also leading to new perspectives on food packaging as manufacturers develop packages that cater to single and two-person households and the desire for more convenience.  Also, rising incomes, changing lifestyles, and technology drive the use of portion control, new and faster heating sources, and serving packaging.

To  keep you ahead of the competition, we monitor the latest trends and advances in food packaging technologies that use base materials such as glass, plastic, light metal, and paperboard, as well as packaging techniques like aseptic active, controlled atmosphere storage, and modified atmosphere packaging. 

Focusing on Design

We have experience in procuring and enforcing design patents and were one of the first firms to establish that design patents are an effective business tool, which successfully challenges the conventional perceptions to the contrary.

Our experience protecting designs is sought by top shelf companies given that today, the aesthetic value of food packaging solutions can be as important as safety and freshness solutions.  Packaging can influence a consumer’s final purchase decision.  And, appealing packages can garner consumer attention for new products − revitalizing and altering perceptions about an existing brand.

Branding, Labeling and Advertising

A related area that can present challenges in the food science and packaging sector is product labeling and advertising.  Our team assists companies in product label review and claim substantiation to withstand scrutiny and avoid legal challenges.  Our review includes trademark and copyright clearance and freedom to operate, as well as country of origin issues. 

Litigation

Naturally, as science helps bring new products to market, litigation can be expected.  Our litigation team has years of experience litigating issues such as challenges to new packaging, food additives, and government seizure of food products. Additionally, we have represented companies both offensively and defensively, in false advertising cases under federal and state statutes.   We have obtained injunctions against false advertising campaigns and defended companies accused of false advertising to help them avoid injunctions.  

During the design process  we provide review and counsel the so that your labeling and advertising holds up under the pressure of a Lanham Act false advertising statute challenge and, ideally, avoids costly litigation. 

Representative Matters

  • Represented ADM against Igene, in patent infringement lawsuit over ADM's  patent to use astaxanthin to give farm raised fish the same color as wild fish.  Igene counterclaimed for trade secret misappropriation.  Settled on favorable terms. (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland)
  • Defended ADM and Amerifit Nutrition against patent infringement claims concerning health supplement products containing soy isoflavones, resulting in a favorable settlement.  (Solae, L.L.C. v. Archer Daniels Midland Company et al.) (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri)
  • Defeated a challenge to the decision by Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to approve plastic liquor bottles on airplanes (Glass Packaging Institute v. ATF) (U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia)
  • Obtained an injunction under the Lanham Act against a national advertising campaign by the Paperboard Packaging Council (SPI v. Paperboard Packaging Council) (U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia)
  • Represented Honeybaked Ham Company in Lanham Act litigation that raised false advertising claims, avoiding injunctive relief and damages. (Logan Frams v. The Honeybaked Ham Company, et. al.) (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana)
  • Represented W.R. Grace & Mars Inc. when the Department of Justice brought a food seizure action in federal court.  The verdict was the first time a court denied the government's efforts to seize and destroy food products. (U.S. v. W.R. Grace, et. al.) (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia)

(1) Related People

(3) Sterne Kessler Welcomes Litigators John Christopher Rozendaal & Michael Joffre to the Firm

Sterne Kessler Welcomes Litigators John Christopher Rozendaal & Michael Joffre to the Firm
A Case Study:

Sterne Kessler Welcomes Litigators John Christopher Rozendaal & Michael Joffre to the Firm

Sterne Kessler is pleased to announce that John Christopher (J.C.) Rozendaal and Michael Joffre have joined the firm as directors.

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