Ocean Spray accuses Decas of patent infringement

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Decas Cranberry Products, Inc. on Oct. 14 alleging patent infringement. Decas, Carver, Mass., allegedly infringed U.S. Patent No. 5,320,861 entitled "Fruit Extraction and Infusion" while making, using, offering to sell and/or selling products, including Decas Premium Sweetened Dried Cranberries, made by processes embodying the patented invention, according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

Ocean Spray, Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass., requests the court award Ocean Spray three times the amount of damages, although the company did not list the amount of damages in the lawsuit.

Jeff Carlson, chief executive officer of Decas Cranberry Products, defended his company in an Oct. 16 newspaper story in the Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass.

"Their position is absolutely groundless, and the case has no merit," Mr. Carlson said of Ocean Spray. "Our company will defend its right to compete in the marketplace vigorously. We’re very concerned ... that this action by Ocean Spray has a lot more to do with their attempt to hinder competition than it does (with) a patent issue."

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