May 30, 2022
As reported by CNBC, Impossible Foods, a plant-based meat producer, is in a patent dispute with Motif FoodWorks. Both Motif and Impossible are in the business of producing vegetarian beef and other meat substitutes that closely imitate the taste, texture, and aroma of real meat.
The patent dispute is the most recent development in an ongoing legal dispute between the two companies. While both companies produce similar products, Impossible Foods is considerably larger than Motif and was most recently valued at approximately $9.5 billion. Motif, however, has seen rapid growth since its original launch in 2019. The company was valued at approximately $1.2 billion last year, and appears to have significant support from major investors, including Bill Gates.
Impossible sued Motif in March for patent infringement, and Motif has since responded by challenging the validity of Impossible Foods’ patent. Motif’s submissions to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board argued that the patent should never have been granted to Impossible Foods in the first place. To support their assertion, Motif claimed that prior literature had made the alleged proprietary content of the Impossible patent public long before Impossible claims to have discovered it.
Further, Motif has requested that Impossible’s initial action be stayed pending its petition to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on the theory that, if the Patent Board rules the patent was improperly granted, then Impossible’s litigation would become moot.
Authors: Aryan Pour-Bahreini and Awale Deria