August 26, 2009

Indiana man says microwave idea stolen

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

In a suit filed in Scott County, Ind., 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, The Indianapolis Star reported Wednesday.

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

Gary Hopkins came up with this a lot sooner than anyone else, because seven patents tells you something, his attorney, John Price of Indianapolis, told the Star, but the companies dispute the claims.

Lois Warlick-Jarvie, a Birds Eye executive, told the newspaper that Hopkins' lawsuit is completely without merit, and we will aggressively defend the allegations against us.