Prepared Foods September 6, 2004 enewsletter

The world's largest chewing gum company is suing a small New Jersey firm over its caffeine gum, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Chicago's William Wrigley R. Co. says in its suit that privately held GumRunners LLC of Hackensack, N.J., is infringing on a Wrigley patent with its Jolt Caffeine Energy Gum.

Wrigley, which does not actually sell a caffeine-based gum, is asking the federal court to stop GumRunners from continuing to sell Jolt, as well as seeking undisclosed monetary damages.

An official for GumRunners said the company does not have a patent for its gum because caffeine-based gums have been around since World War I.

GumRunner co-founder Kevin Gass said his company had consulted with lawyers and determined he did not need a patent to make the caffeine gum.

Two pieces of Jolt gum equal four to five ounces of coffee, and the gum must be chewed for five minutes before the full amount of caffeine is released, Gass said.