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P&G, Kraft Foods settle patent litigation

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DAN SEWELL | January 16, 2009 09:23 AM EST | AP

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CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble Co. and Kraft Foods Inc. said Friday they have settled lawsuits alleging patent infringement on coffee containers.

In a series of suits over the last two years, P&G claimed Kraft had copied packaging from P&G's Folgers Coffee. Kraft, maker of Maxwell House coffee, made counterclaims against P&G.

Jen Becker, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati-based P&G, said no terms would be made public.

"Everything was settled amicably," she said.

Marc Firestone, Kraft's general counsel, said in statement that the food maker was pleased to resolve the litigation in "such an efficient and pragmatic way. We look forward to moving ahead on our Maxwell House brand."

In one of the suits, filed last year in Cincinnati federal court, P&G said Maxwell House's new four-pound plastic container copied Folgers' lightweight container introduced five years earlier. That suit asked damages and that Kraft be ordered to stop selling the Maxwell House container.

Consumer products maker P&G, whose other brands include Tide detergent, Olay skin care and Pringles chips, no longer owns Folgers. J.M. Smucker Co., based in Orrville, Ohio, acquired the coffee business last November.

Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft's other brands include its namesake cheeses, Oscar Mayer meats and Oreo cookies.

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On the Net:

http://www.pg.com

http://www.kraft.com