Design Patent Case Digest: Keurig, Inc. v. JBR, Inc.
- Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell
- Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox
Plaintiff Keurig, Inc. sued JBR, Inc. in November 2011 for infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. D502,362 entitled “Disposable Beverage Filter Cartridge.” Keurig obtained its patent in 2005 to cover a design for single-use coffee filters that may be used with its coffee brewers, but it does not use this design in its products. JBR sells OneCups, another single-use coffee filter, for use in Keurig’s brewers as an alternative to Keurig’s K-Cups (not covered by the ’362 patent). In response to the suit, JBR moved for summary judgment based on non-infringement of the ’362 patent. Summary judgment resolves a dispute without completing the entire trial process, and thus is only appropriate when a party fails to “establish the existence of an element essential to [it]s case” for which it bears the burden of proof. Here, that element is the substantial similarity between the OneCups design and Keurig’s patented design.
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