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Court denies Smucker''s PB&J pastry patent

April 21, 2005
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected an effort by J.M. Smucker Co. to patent its process for making pocket-size peanut butter and jelly pastries called "Uncrustables,” the Associated Press repots. Smucker''s 2-ounce peanut butter and jelly pockets come in two flavors — strawberry and grape — and are enclosed without a crust using a crimping method that the Orrville, Ohio, company says is one of a kind and should be protected from duplication by federal law. Patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office disagreed, saying the crimped edges are similar to making ravioli or a pie crust. Smucker already owns a general patent, which it purchased from Len Kretchman and David Geske, two Fargo, N.D., men who came up with the idea in 1995 and had been baking the products for school children. The two cases before the appeals court involved two additional patents that Smucker was seeking to expand its original patent by protecting its method.

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