Earlier this year, ingredient innovator VDF FutureCeuticals filed a patent infringement lawsuit against CoffeeFruit Pure, LLC ("CoffeeFruit Pure"), alleging infringement of FutureCeuticals' patents related to coffee fruit extraction technology. That lawsuit has now come to an end, with CoffeeFruit Pure fully conceding its infringing activity and effectively shutting down its coffee fruit extract business.
FutureCeuticals, an innovator in the coffee fruit extraction space, filed its first patent application on its technology in the early 2000s. Today, FutureCeuticals holds an extensive portfolio of issued global patents addressing coffee fruit technologies and ingredients. FutureCeuticals continues to research and innovate within the space and is in the process of prosecuting numerous currently pending patent applications.
In the fall of 2017, CoffeeFruit Pure surfaced at the Supply Side West trade show - a venue for ingredient innovators to showcase new products - in order to launch a new line of coffee fruit products. CoffeeFruit Pure claimed to have discovered new methods for processing coffee fruit, but FutureCeuticals quickly recognized that CoffeeFruit Pure was in fact utilizing FutureCeuticals' own patented technology. After further investigation, FutureCeuticals filed a lawsuit against CoffeeFruit Pure to protect its intellectual property that has been carefully developed throughout years of research, including clinical discovery research conducted at FutureCeuticals' own bio-research facility located in Irvine, CA.
"It was certainly surprising to see CoffeeFruit Pure market its coffee fruit ingredients without regard to our extensive patent portfolio, which we believe clearly covered CoffeeFruit Pure's products," remarked J. Randal Wexler, Vice President and General Counsel of FutureCeuticals. "We've spent so much time, energy, money, and passion on coffee fruit; it's a part of who we are. As good stewards of the technology, and for our customers, we really had no choice but to enforce our patent rights through legal action."
That is precisely what FutureCeuticals did, and with clear success. Last month, a judgment of infringement was entered against CoffeeFruit Pure ordering it to cease all of its current activities, and permanently prohibiting it from developing, marketing or selling any infringing coffee fruit products in the future.
"We are gratified to have been able to quickly reach what we believe is an entirely successful conclusion that fully vindicates our patents," Mr. Wexler concluded.  "As we have done here and in other instances," he went on to say, "FutureCeuticals cannot and will not hesitate to take legal action to protect its intellectual property against infringement by copycats and other free-riders."