Mintz v. Dietz & Watson, No. 10-1341 (Fed. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
The 148 patent claims a structure for encasing meat products. It describes prior art, which use netting that allows meat to bulge between strands and produce a desirable checkerboard pattern on the meat’s surface, but causes difficulty in peeling netting off the cooked meat. Prior art tried to solve this problem by using a separate layer of collagen film, or stockinette; this required a two-step stuffing process that was labor intensive and expensive. The 148 patent integrates a stockinette into a netting to make a new kind of meat encasement. The integrated stockinette has more stretching ability than the netting and solves the adherence problem without the two-step stuffing process while allowing some bulging to create the grid-like pattern on the meat. Mintz asserts that the 148 patent covers its Jif-Pak knitted meat encasement products. PCM, previously a distributor of Mintz’s Jif-Pak products, now competes with Mintz. Mintz accused PCM’s bubble netting, collagen replacement, and cubic netting product lines of infringement. The district court ruled in favor of PCM. The Federal Circuit affirmed the non-infringement determination and vacated the invalidity holding. With respect to determining obviousness, entirely omitting meat encasement art led the validity search astray
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on June 1, 2012.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on June 7, 2012.