KonaRed's business has been exploding like a Hawaii volcano, of late, supported by dramatically increased sales and renewed interest in its supply side products. "If this is a cloud of uncertainty", exclaimed CEO Shaun Roberts, "then let it rain". Mr. Roberts went on to say, "VDF FutureCeuticals (“VDF FC”) has exposed themselves and their weak legal strategy with deceitful rhetoric and juvenile bluster. They talk of procedural tactics designed to defer actions as a way of avoidance, but it is they who are avoiding the real issue by refusing to compete on a level playing field in the market place."
KonaRed has filed amended counterclaims in the patent case started by VDF FC and pending before the Hawaii Court. The Court last month clarified what must be pled to claim VDF FC engaged in tortious interference and inequitable conduct. KonaRed has met those requirements by this refilling, and the now-strengthened counterclaims against VDF FC have been filed. "Suggesting that KonaRed suffered a stinging defeat, in our own backyard, was a bit presumptuous on their part", said Steven M. Schorr, KonaRed's CSO/COO.
"Rather than conduct an unnecessary contest of accusations", Mr. Schorr offered "let us look at the facts. First, we were never infringing on the patents. Second, we recognized that the patents themselves were flawed and invalid. So, consequently we indicated that we would move to reexamine, but first suggested the parties try to resolve the dispute. VDF FC refused. Then, their original law firm Fish & Co., LLLC dropped out of the case, when it was alleged that their patent counsel had obtained one of the patents through inequitable conduct (rather a smoking gun I should think). So, we filed with the USPTO for the re-exam. Subsequently, we moved to stay the Hawaii case pending the decision of the USPTO, which the Court agreed to do (http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/hawaii/hidce/1:2011cv00288/96392/48/?ts=1325066635). We think this was a very logical progression in the case. Recently, the USPTO not only accepted the re-exam, but rejected all of the claims of all three patents at issue in the case."
"How Mr. Hunter can spin this development into a victory for his company is beyond comprehension" said Mr. Roberts. "This case is not an issue of procedure nor of statistics as VDF FC would suggest. Neither will name calling or false pretensions save the patents of VDF FC if the USPTO sees fit to confirm its rejection of the claims of all of the patents at issue, and potentially invalidate or narrow those claims."
The truth is that the fruit of the coffee plant without the bean has been used historically for over 500 years, both as a tea or extraction and as a food. In Ethiopia and Yemen, before the bean was roasted, the fruit was used in a drink called Qishar. In modern times, there are ample examples of prior art indicating that all of the techniques claimed by VDF FC were already patented. KonaRed has pointed this out to the USPTO and they have agreed, and have demonstrated this by rejecting all of the claims of the patents at issue.
What is VDF FutureCeuticals’ problem? Will someone please explain this to them? By the way, John M. Hunter, we are not in a fight for our existence, nor did we not address the issues of your IP concerns. Nor would any reasonable person claim infringement. Nor are we spreading half-truths nor misleading information. We do not expect you to be dissuaded from vigorously defending your patents. We are however amazed that you are shocked by our asserting our rights to defend ourselves against your unjust and unwarranted lawsuit.
KonaRed was established in 2008 and is headquartered in Kalaheo, Hawaii. KonaRed's core focus is bringing the health-promoting superfruits of Hawaii to the dietary supplement, functional food and personal care markets. KonaRed can be reached at 808.212.1553 www.konared.com.