An Indiana inventor says his invention to speed the microwave oven heating of frozen foods was stolen from him by Birds Eye Foods and Clorox Co.

birdseyelogoIn a suit filed in Scott County Superior Court, Gary Hopkins is seeking unspecified damages from the companies, which he claims ignored confidentiality agreements on his patented system using plastic containers with pinholes and steam vents to cut in half the time needed to microwave frozen food.

Clorox Logo

Hopkins claims Birds Eye and Clorox, parent company of GladWare food containers, introduced identical products after seeing his work and refusing to pay him.

I haven’t seen the complaint yet (anyone down in Scott County want to send me a copy?) but the lawsuit apparently has claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and misappropriation of trade secrets.  No mention of patent infringement, although Hopkins has several related patents:

Hopkins patents

The Indiana Intellectual Property blog will keep you updated.  Follow the link below for the full story, including an interview with Mr. Hopkins.

Source: Indy Star