It is a trademark infringement lawsuit against Medallion food filed by Frito-Lay for unfair competition. Frito-Lay alleged that Medallion Foods’ tortilla chips result from processes, which infringe one or more claims of United States Patent no.6610344, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. Additionally, Frito-Lay contends that Medallion Foods is liable for infringing the ‘344 Patent under U.S.C. § 271, as well as the infringement being willful, entitling Frito-Lay to enhanced damages under §284.

The infringement in on the design of the chips “TOSTITOS SCOOPS” which is the trade mark for the Frito-Lay, and it claims that their design is copied by the Medallion Foods.

The case has been filed in the United States Courts, Frito-Lay “contends that it is entitled to summary judgment because Medallion Foods failed to produce clear and convincing evidence that the chip sold by Frito-Lay in a test market had fluted edges, and all testing of a bowl-shaped chip with fluted edges occurred under confidentiality agreements.”

Now medallion foods were in a situation of burden of proof to show a clear and convincing evidence fact that support the existence of a public use. The evidence before the Court provided by Plaintiff indicates that the testing has occurred in public to individuals that were subject to a confidentiality agreement. There is no indication that these tortilla chips were used in public without the presence of the confidentiality agreement, and there is no indication that any individuals violated the confidentiality agreements that they signed. Therefore, the Court finds Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment should be granted on this ground.”

Medallion Foods also requested relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d), which provides that “if a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for specific reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may defer considering the motion or deny it; allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to take discovery. However the Court found this not to be the case not because Defendants failed to show any specific facts exist that would determine the testing were public, the Court finds that Defendant’s request for relief under Rule 56 (d) is denied.”

Frito-Lay’s holds the rights to the ‘344 Patent, which covers the manufacturing process for the TOSTITOS SCOOPS!.

Keywords: Frito-Lay, Medallion Foods, chips, trade mark, infringement.