CHICAGO — Kraft Foods Global Brands L.L.C., a unit of Mondelēz International, has filed a lawsuit against Kellogg Co. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division accusing the latter company of patent infringement.
According to the Jan. 16 filing, Kellogg has used packaging technology for its Keebler and Sandies cookies that Kraft claims is too much like its “Snack ‘n Seal” technology.
Kraft was awarded a patent for the “Snack ‘n Seal” technology on July 19, 2005. The technology is described in the patent filing in the following way:
“A container for a food product includes a wrapper which surrounds a frame. The container can be any polygonal shape which is defined by the shape of the frame. The wrapper forms a top of the container which has an access opening. A sealing layer is adhesively sealed to the top around the opening. The sealing layer is resealable when a tab of the sealing layer is pulled back. The sealing layer is resealable against the top layer to seal the opening when the sealing layer is moved back to a flat position on the top. Various tamper-evident structures are provided to indicate when the container has been initially opened or tampered with.”
Kraft notes in the lawsuit that the Keebler Sandies product infringes on one or more of the claims in the patent, including the fact the product’s package is a polygonal shape and that the sealing layer of the Sandies product is resealable when the starter portion is pulled in a direction away from the side to in turn pull and thereby release at least a portion of the sealing layer to provide hand access to the top opening.
Kraft is seeking damages as well as a permanent injunction barring Kellogg from infringing the patent.Neither Kraft nor Kellogg has commented on the lawsuit.