Great design and marketing ideas, such as Heinz’ Dip & Squeeze ketchup packets, are hard to come by. A Chicago inventor has sued H. J. Heinz Co. saying the ketchup company has infringed the Dip & Squeeze patent.
Heinz’ design of the Dip & Squeeze ketchup packets is very efficient. Not only it was easy to use, but it also proved to be a great marketing tool. But the idea may have been stolen. A Chicago inventor has sued H. J. Heinz Co. over the Dip & Squeeze patent infringement. Scott White, a 47 year-old risk analyst, claims that the ketchup package is a rip off of his invention.
The Chicago inventor applied for a patent in 2005 with the trademark name “CondiCup”. It very much resembles Heinz’ Dip & Squeeze. He intended it to be a car use condiment holder. It was supposed to be used both for filling and dipping, same as the Dip & Squeeze.
In his lawsuit, White claims he invented his CondiCup in a flash of inspiration. Bothered by the inefficient packaging of the condiment companies, he invented his own. A package “that would be flexible, allowing customers to choose between dipping finger foods and squeezing condiments on to sandwiches or other foods”, he states in his lawsuit.
White even tried to pitch his invention to Heinz Co., but claims that the company turned him down. “The behemoth international company could not be bothered to contract with a start-up American small business” he stated.
Heinz rejected the accusations. They say that that the containers are not identical and that the company invented the package. Heinz’ spokesperson stated for Huffington Post:“The company worked for years to develop its patented dual-function Dip & Squeeze package”.
But White’s lawsuit isn’t the first one. “Heinz won a similar lawsuit earlier this summer. This is another frivolous lawsuit and we will aggressively defend our position and demonstrate that the allegations are groundless and without merit” said the company’s spokesman.
But the inventor won’t stop to that. He seems very confident that the court will rule in his favor. Even if the CondiCup is not identical to the Dip & Squeeze, the lawsuit might just have a chance. “We would not have filed the action if we believed Mr. White’s claims lacked merit and/or that his patent was not valid,” wrote John A. Leja, White’s Attorney, for ABC News.