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4th of July - Limestone Grilling the Burger Space

by: David Nickelson, Director of Research

Having previously written about the surge in alternative meat products in Patties and Patents, a recent MartetWatch article on Kellogg’s leadership position in alternative meats caught my eye.

The article explains that while Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are garnering all the attention for their alternative meat products, old stalwart Kellogg’s actually holds the largest share of sales in the category. The Kellogg’s products, under their Morningstar Farm brand have been around since the 1970s, and like many of their competitors, are described as soy-based.

Meat Free and Patent Free

In order to evaluate the strength of their IP position, I took a look at the Kellogg’s patent portfolio searching for any claimed use of soy products. Surprisingly, they appear to have no IP assets related to soy based meat products at all, rather their products with soy are cereal and dry snack type products.

This also offered an opportunity to utilize our Limestone platform, where I ran the known Impossible Foods issued patents related to their burger products (US10039306 B2, US9808029B2, US9700067B2, US9943096B2, US9826772B2, US9737875B2, and US9833768B2) through our tool. In minutes, Limestone generated a corpus of related patents and patent applications, against which a cross-check of Kellogg’s revealed no meat related products.

Is Kellogg’s Road Kill

Will this lack of IP protection lead to Kellogg’s being left in the dust in the space they once dominated? Only time will tell but it’s a good reminder that companies shouldn’t get complacent in their product innovation. Techson’s IP Consulting practice can help you stay ahead of emerging markets by marrying your company’s strategy to current market trends and your patent portfolio. We identify the gaps and licensing opportunities so you can maximize both revenues and competitive advantage.

In the meantime, we at Techson hope you all enjoy your favorite 4th of July meal, whether meat-based or otherwise. Happy Independence Day everyone!