February 23, 2024
FILE PHOTO: A banh mi sandwich made with a plant-based Unattainable Pork patty on the Unattainable Meals headquarters in Silicon Valley, in San Francisco, California, U.S., December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Richa Naidu/File Photograph

Motif Foodworks instructed a Delaware federal courtroom that plant-based meat rival Unattainable Meals improperly employed non-public investigators who donned pretend identities to solicit details about Motif’s merchandise throughout their patent dispute.

In paperwork unsealed on Tuesday, Motif stated investigators who falsely claimed to symbolize potential companions began approaching them to acquire samples and different details about its meat substitute shortly after Unattainable Meals filed a lawsuit accusing Motif of patent infringement.

Motif stated in one of many filings that Unattainable’s use of “false pretenses” to achieve data was “alarming” and “unethical.”

A Motif spokesperson stated on Thursday that the filings “communicate for themselves.” The corporate has denied Unattainable’s infringement claims.

Representatives for Unattainable didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Thursday. The corporate instructed the courtroom that Motif’s filings included “exaggerated rhetoric” and have been “nothing greater than an try by Motif to distract from its blatant patent infringement.”

“It’s common, and moral, for patent homeowners to acquire and consider infringing merchandise — akin to Motif’s — within the market,” Unattainable stated.

Redwood Metropolis, California-based Unattainable sued Motif, a Boston-based spinoff of biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks, final 12 months. The lawsuit stated the “Hemami” ingredient in Motif’s burgers infringes Unattainable patents associated to a “beef duplicate” product that additionally makes use of a heme protein.

A Delaware choose denied Motif’s movement to dismiss a lot of the claims final 12 months.

Motif workers instructed the courtroom that they have been approached by folks claiming to work for a fast-food provider and meal-kit service considering its product.

A Motif worker stated in a submitting {that a} girls claiming to symbolize the meal-kit service, Sarah Jamil, appeared with the identify “Sarah Nasir” on a video name earlier than altering her identify throughout it. The worker stated she later discovered a Sarah Nasir on LinkedIn who’s the managing associate of a personal investigation agency referred to as Integrity One Options.

The Motif worker additionally stated the web site for the supposed meal-kit firm, Food4Thought, was “very rudimentary” and didn’t determine the individuals who claimed to symbolize it.

Integrity One and Food4Thought didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon the allegations.

One other Motif worker stated she was approached at a commerce present in San Francisco by a person named Lindon Lilly who claimed to supply plant-based meals for an undisclosed fast-food chain. The worker stated she later discovered Lilly’s LinkedIn profile named him because the president of “California Lively Shooter Academy LLC” and didn’t disclose any hyperlink to meals industries.

A San Francisco-based firm referred to as Rhino Investigation based by a person named Lindon Lilly didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the allegations.

Motif requested the courtroom to order Unattainable to disclose extra communications and requested a protecting order for its personal data.

The case is Unattainable Meals Inc v. Motif Foodworks Inc, U.S. District Court docket for the District of Delaware, No. 1:22-cv-00311.

For Unattainable: Matthew Reed, Wendy Devine and Lori Westin of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

For Motif: Joseph Paunovich, Sandra Haberny, Ryan Landes and Stephen Wooden of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan