FEDERAL COURT RULES EASY EGGS(R) PATENTS INFRINGED
FEDERAL COURT RULES EASY EGGS(R) PATENTS INFRINGED MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Foods, Inc.
(NASDAQ-NMS: MIKL) said today that it was granted summary judgment that Papetti's Hygrade Egg Products, Inc. (Papetti's) has infringed the claims in patents, licensed to Michael Foods, pertaining to the ultrapasteurization of liquid eggs (Easy Eggs). The ruling results from a motion brought by Michael Foods and North Carolina State University (NCSU), the patent holder, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Motions by Papetti's for summary judgment regarding noninfringement by Papetti's and invalidity of the patents in question were denied, as was a Michael Foods/NCSU motion for summary judgment regarding Papetti's counter claim of inequitable conduct. It is expected that the remaining issues will be decided at a future trial. A conference is scheduled with the Court for Monday, Nov. 16, 1992, at which time it is expected that the issues of discovery for damages and the scheduling of a trial date will be discussed. In its opinion regarding the summary judgement motions, the Court indicated that "patents are presumed to be valid and the burden of establishing invalidity of a patent -- by clear and convincing evidence -- rests on the party asserting invalidity." Further, in light of a recent Official Action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office that was supportive of the validity of the NCSU patents, the Court stated that "the party asserting invalidity 'has the added burden of overcoming the deference that is due to a qualified government agency presumed to have properly done its job... and whose duty it is to issue only valid patents." Counsel to Michael Foods/NCSU also noted that the validity of a key NCSU ultrapasteurization patent was upheld in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida earlier this year. Michael Foods is a diversified food processor and distributor with particular interests in egg products, refrigerated grocery products, frozen and refrigerated potato products, specialty dairy products and refrigerated soups and salads. Principal subsidiaries include M.G. Waldbaum Company, Crystal Farms Refrigerated Distribution Co., Northern Star Co., Kohler Mix Specialties, Inc., and Sunnyside Vegetable Packing, Inc. -0- 11/13/92 /CONTACT: Mark D. Witmer of Michael Foods, 612-546-1500/ (MIKL) CO: Michael Foods, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: FOD SU:
DS -- MN002 -- 0558 11/13/92 09:23 EST
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|Date:||Nov 13, 1992|
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