…patent monopoly on plastic food tray quashed.
A recent landmark patent ruling has heralded the launch of Signum® by Quinn, a mono PET plastic tray.
The arrival of Signum® by Quinn follows a long and successful patent challenge by Irish plastic packaging manufacturer Quinn Packaging Ltd, against patents held by Klöckner Pentaplast and Faerch. In July the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) in London delivered judgement that both patents should be fully revoked.
Reinventing an invention…
Signum® by Quinn is a mono-material PET tray developed for the fresh meat, fish and poultry sectors. Signum® by Quinn can be favourably compared to the Linpac Elite ® and Faerch MAPET ® II products currently available to the market. In the course of the legal battle, both companies failed in their bid to defend their claims of originality or ‘inventive step’ when irrefutable prior art was provided by Quinn’s legal team. The path was now clear for Signum® by Quinn to be launched.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) trays for the protein sector were traditionally PET trays with a laminated polyethylene (PE) layer to provide an air-tight, lock seal. The inclusion of this PE sealing layer constituted a multi-material plastic tray that was more difficult to recycle and fell well short of the aspirations for a fully circular economy.
Signum® by Quinn does not contain this PE sealing layer, but rather incorporates an adhesive coating that is selectively applied to the rim of the tray. The result is a mono-material PET tray that is wholly recyclable as part of a circular economy in the same way as PET bottles.
Mark McKenna, General Manager of Quinn Packaging explained the significance of the Signum® by Quinn range
‘We are delighted with the outcome of the patent revocation action at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC). The innovation and investment strategy of Quinn Packaging is fully focused on developing more sustainable packaging solutions. Signum® by Quinn follows the launch of Detecta® by Quinn, a fully recyclable black plastic packaging technology, earlier this year and represents another significant breakthrough for the company.
Consumers are demanding more sustainable packaging solutions. With Signum® by Quinn we are offering the market a tray that has a 100% recycled material content and is 100% recyclable back into new food grade trays. This is the ultimate solution for a fully circular economy.’