Sunday, January 21, 2001

Federal case over PB&J sandwiches

The Associated Press

        GAYLORD, Mich. — Crust-free peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches have turned into a federal case in a dispute between a company here and one in Ohio.

        Albie's Foods, a manufacturer and restaurant with outlets in Gaylord and Grayling, began making the sandwiches last summer.

        But Menusaver Inc., based in Orrville, Ohio, contends it holds a patent for crustless peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and intends to maintain its exclusive rights to the lunch-time staple, the Bay City Times reported Saturday.

        Albie's has asked a U.S. District Court judge in Bay City to resolve the quarrel. But Regan Quaal, one of the company's owners, said he hopes to deal with the matter privately.

        The 1999 patent on file with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office describes Menusaver's product.

        “The sandwich includes a lower bread portion, an upper bread portion, an upper filling and a lower filling between the lower and upper bread portions, a center filling sealed between the upper and lower fillings and a crimped edge along an outer perimeter of the bread portions for sealing the fillings there between,” states Patent 6,004,596.

        The patent doesn't say if the peanut butter is creamy or crunchy, or what kind of jelly is used. But it does say: “The upper and lower fillings are preferably comprised of peanut butter and the center filling is comprised of at least jelly. The center filling is prevented from radiating outwardly and into and through the bread portions from the surrounding peanut butter.”


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