John Russell of the Indianapolis Star has an interesting story today about a dispute between an inventor and a plastics product manufacturer. Gary Hopkins is the Scottsburg, Ind, inventor who claims he developed plastic containers designed to steam-cook food in the microwave, without a need for rotating the container. But now he's in court with Birds Eye Foods and Clorox Co., parent of GladWare food containers. Hopkins claims they are using his designs. The companies deny the allegations, and perhaps the court or a jury will eventually decide this case. It's an interesting problem that, as Russell's story explains, happens a lot. "It's a big risk when inventors show their inventions to big companies," patent attorney Lynn Tyler told the Star. "I've seen cases where big companies settle before it ever gets to trial, because they don't want the publicity or embarrassment. And I've seen cases where little inventors have big egos, but their cases have no merit." I guess it goes to show that intellectual property disputes aren't exclusive to companies that do business in China.
Indiana inventor takes his case to court, and the press
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