Vegan Plant Based Companies Startup IP Wars (A Case Study)

Vegan Plant Based Companies Startup IP Wars (A Case Study) July 2, 2022Leave a comment

Never launch your startup without this…

Because if you do, it will probably be 10x harder to do after the fact.

I will tell you what you need before you launch your startup… but before I do, I’d like to tell you a story.

In 2019, the co-founder of a major new plant-based meat startup went on CNBC and admitted that the success of another major plant-based meat company, the competition, inspired the formation of their company.

Nothing wrong with this right…great pub for the new company.

Later the company got FDA approval on its plant-based meat protein.

In 2021, the startup raised $343.5M and was valued at $1.23B

Great progress…right.

Definitely checking all the capital and traction boxes on the startup unicorn list.

This should be a time of celebration….

And it still is, but that major plant-based competitor filed a complaint in federal court alleging patent infringement on their proprietary beef replica protein.

In a statement to CNBC, the major plant-based beef competitor stated “We applaud other companies’ efforts to develop compelling plant-based products, but we do NOT tolerate attempts to undermine our brand or products through the deliberate and unauthorized infringement of our intellectual property”

As a Patent Insider, I could see the potential for this coming a mile away…

And do you want to know why?

It’s because the startup didn’t have a clear intellectual property strategy from the outset

It wasn’t comprehensive

It didn’t align with their goals and marketing direction

How do I know this…

It’s clearly not in your best interest to go on a nationally syndicated program and state that your company was inspired by a direct competitor.

To be fair, these are just the quotes from an article. It’s possible the total interview was more nuanced.

However, the lesson is that your IP strategy starts on DAY ONE of your startup.

In fact, having a comprehensive thoughtful strategy is just as if not more important as the initial IP asset development and IP protection to fortify your startup’s IP.

And just like the co-founder and CEO here, you never want to jeopardize your success or investments by a self-inflicted blunder.

Because once you do, you might have to spend your profits or a considerable amount of your capital dealing with the aftermath.

The players here are

Motif FoodWorks, Inc.: startup

Impossible Foods: major competitor

 

If this infringement case has any legs….

it will probably end in an undisclosed settlement OR

In a licensing agreement.

It could also be dismissed…

The Patent Litigation Attorneys get paid either way.

I’m sure you can think of more important ways to spend that money on growing your startup.

So the lesson is

Never launch your startup without….

Clear IP strategy aligned with…

Your desired business outcomes

Your business goals

Your vision, and direction

Your Exit Strategy

 

#PatentInsiderSecrets #PatentInsiderStartup #Patents #PatentLaw #PatentInfringement #ImpossibleFoods #Motif

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