On January 5th, the Federal Circuit affirmed the District of Colorado’s holding that our client Keurig and its customer Starbucks do not infringe Teashot, LLC’s patent.
Teashot had sued in 2012 alleging infringement of a patent directed to certain tea compositions for use in coffee machines, and to water-permeable sealed bodies that contain such compositions. Our litigation team first obtained a favorable claim construction, holding that the asserted claims require that the portions of the sealed body into which and out of which fluid flows be made of water-permeable material. We then moved for summary judgment, arguing that the accused K-Cup® packs do not have a water-permeable inlet portion.
Teashot argued that the lid is pierced upon use, making it water-permeable. It also sought to argue infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. The district court granted Keurig summary judgment on both issues, finding no literal infringement and that Teashot had waived its doctrine of equivalents allegation by failing to articulate it in its infringement contentions. The Federal Circuit affirmed on both counts, finding Teashot’s arguments “meritless,” particularly in light of key admissions obtained from the inventor at his deposition.
This was an across-the-board win for our clients. Teashot had been seeking multiple millions of dollars in damages and an injunction.
Our litigation team on this case was Michael Albert, Jerry Hrycyszyn, and Hunter Keeton.