The Rogers Family Co. recently announced that it has won a patent lawsuit filed by Keurig last year over the Rogers' unique single serve coffee product: OneCup™.
"I am pleased to announce that the U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass., ruled that the Rogers Family Co.'s OneCup™ products do not infringe any of the Keurig patents," said Rogers Family Co. President Jon B. Rogers, in a prepared statement. "This is a great victory for the Rogers family and our customers. There is no longer any doubt about our ability to sell our OneCup products for use in Keurig brewers."
The case involved three Keurig patents, U.S. patent D 502,362 ("362"); U.S. patent 7,165,488, ("488") and U.S. patent No 7,347,138 ("138").
For the design patent,"362", the Court compared the Rogers design to the Keurig design, according to the release by the Rogers Family Co. They first addressed whether certain features of the cartridge were functional or ornamental, finding that the circular lid of both designs was ornamental, as was the depending skirt, or ring to which the filter is attached. The "general tapered shape" of the filter affects the quality of the beverage cartridge, so it is a functional feature. The specific type of tapered filter shape was ornamental. The court then found that the overall appearance of the Rogers cartridge was plainly dissimilar to the Keurig design, and a consumer would note that the one was substantially similar to the other. The court did not reach the prior art. For the utility patents, "488" and "138", the court first addressed the '138 patent's apparatus claim, finding that Keurig's rights under the asserted claim were exhausted once it sells the brewer, because it indisputably sells, or licenses others to sell, both the brewer and the filter cartridge. The court then addressed the '488 patent's method claim. Relying on the Delaware court's decision in the Sturm case, the court found that the Keurig brewers were sold as completed products and that the "substantial embodiment" test did not apply. The court also found that because Keurig's rights in the brewers were exhausted once they were sold, customers have the right to purchase replacement cartridges from whatever source they choose.
The Rogers Family Co. argued that its OneCup product is unique, breakthrough technology produced after years of research and study.
The Rogers Family Co. launched the OneCup line – under its San Francisco Bay brand - in fall 2011.
The law firm of Morgan Lewis represented The Rogers Family Co.