Momence, Ill., January 23, 2012 /Press Release/ — A cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over KonaRed’s entire business as it engages in tired procedural tactics designed to defer a patent lawsuit brought by FutureCeuticals, Inc. (FC). Rather than face the allegations, KonaRed has opted to shift venues to a different forum that KR apparently hopes will be more favorable than a Federal Court in its own backyard in Hawaii. KonaRed (KR) previously suffered a stinging defeat late last year when the Federal Judge in Hawaii summarily dismissed the great bulk of the counter-claims KR had pursued against FC.
KonaRed had sought to avoid the adverse ruling by seeking a temporary halt to the litigation, but the Court refused to stall the decision – which was among the first decisions issued by the Court. KR subsequently engaged in a procedural maneuver routinely followed by alleged infringers in order to stall the proceedings, which the Court ultimately allowed. The Federal Court retains jurisdiction over the case, which will immediately resume after the re-exam process concludes.
Statistics maintained by the U.S. government for these types of ex parte actions tell the whole story: Nearly every such re-exam case requested by an alleged infringer (92%, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)) is accepted by the PTO. KR’s invitation met this very low threshold. But statistics also show that only in 11% of such cases does the PTO ultimately change its mind and reject the patent claims in their entirety. In other words, while it may take time, some of the patent claims are very likely to survive the process.
The three patents under re-exam are only the tip of the iceberg, representing just a part of FC’s growing portfolio of pending and newly-issued patents that protect it from “copy cat” manufacturers seeking to take advantage of FC’s coffee fruit technology and ideas, all developed years prior to when KonaRed claims to have first started investigating the power of coffee fruit.
“KonaRed has jumped the gun on this one,” said John M. Hunter, General Manager of FutureCeuticals, “and their recent press release is intentionally misleading.There is no KonaRed victory at all. If any victory has been had, it has been a FutureCeuticals victory. We obtained dismissal of almost all of the claims KR pursued in the lawsuit. KR is now just trying to kick the can down the alley in an attempt to avoid the inevitable. They may be hoping that we will not have the stomach to fight on, but they have seriously misjudged our resolve.”
“We are a trusted supplier throughout the multinational food and nutritional supplement industries, and we take IP very seriously,” Hunter added. “FutureCeuticals had formally advised KonaRed of our IP concerns several years ago, but KR never adequately addressed the issues. Thus far they have been unwilling to provide the necessary details, but there is ample evidence that would lead any reasonable person to suspect potential infringements of our IP,” stated Hunter. “Now they’re in a battle for their existence. If they think that spreading half-truths and incomplete, misleading information through the media will win them public support or new customers, or that these machinations can dissuade us from vigorously defending our patent rights, they are grievously mistaken. We are only made more determined by their shocking attempts to distort the facts.”