Impossible Foods’ patent for its plant-based hamburger will remain valid, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled last week.
The patent was challenged by Motif FoodWorks as part of a legal battle between a plant-based meat producer and a food technology pharmaceutical company.
After Impossible sued Motif, accusing the integrator of infringing one of its patents with its Hemami insert, Motif pleaded with the US Patent and Trademark Office’s trial arm that it would never grant a patent against Impossible because there are many other patents related to food brands. heme proteins have already been released.
In the 26-page decision, the PTAB discussed Motif’s specific objections and compared Impossible Foods’ patent to others. The board wrote that Motif “has not demonstrated a strong likelihood of showing that any of the challenged claims are invalid.” It refused to review the case.
Although the challenge to Impossible’s patent has ended, the first legal battle is still ongoing in federal court.
Both sides are still filing motions in the case. In an emailed statement from Motif FoodWorks, the company said it is confident in its legal position and will continue to fight “Impossible’s harassment in every way possible.”
“Unlawful and unfounded claims cannot be used to stifle innovation and competition for their own products,” Motif said. “If Impossible truly believed in their mission to ‘make our world food better’ they would have hired designers like Motif FoodWorks, not lawyers. Instead, Impossible is borrowing an outdated page from Silicon Valley’s anti-bullying playbook — you can’t innovate, you argue.”
Impossible filed a motion in the court case last week outlining its arguments and denying Motif’s counterclaim.
“Impossible Foods’ allegations are sufficient to notify Motif of its infringement, and are all that is required under the jurisdiction. Motif’s challenge is to the viability of Impossible Foods’ allegations, not to their truth,” the company said in its motion.