In legal news, Espro—maker of the Espro Press—has officially filed a lawsuit alleging patent infringement on the part of Made Simpli, LLC, makers of the Simpli Press.

According to the Complaint, Espro’s claim of infringement revolves around what they believe to be a similarity between the two brewer’s basket-shaped plunging mechanisms. Espro currently holds a patent for their version of the design (Claim 5 on page 28 of Exhibit A).

In their press release, Espro stated the following:

In September 2015, ESPRO first observed an early version of the Simpli Press at a coffee-industry trade show, and made direct contact with the founder of Made Simpli to express concern on October 30, 2015. ESPRO soon learned that Made Simpli was planning to move ahead with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Simpli Press. ESPRO reached out to Made Simpli again on May 16, 2016, before their Kickstarter project began, to inform them of what ESPRO believes to be an infringement of its patent rights. Made Simpli moved forward with the campaign to fund its product.

We reached out to both sides for comment on the development. Jenni Morse, co-creator of the Simpli Press, has this to say:

Prior to filing our patent, we did a review on Espro’s patent with the attorney who filed for our first patent. They did contact us again prior to Kickstarter and we did a thorough formal review of the patent they brought to our attention with the attorney we are working with currently on our IP. He as well did not find an infringement on any of their claims.

Morse went on to note:

We’ve exhibited with [Espro] even at Coffee Fest at Portland [sic] last October with many coffee professionals there – even winning the 3rd Place New Product. Clearly, people also saw that the cleanup feature of Simpli Press along with the filter design are different from Espro’s filter design.

Espro was unavailable for comment as of the publication of this article, but Espro’s president and co-founder Bruce Constantine had this to say in the press release:

As a fellow entrepreneur and Kickstarter success story, this is the last course of action I ever wanted to take against another start-up brand. As leader of this thriving young business, it is my job and my obligation to protect my company’s reputation and investments, the jobs of ESPRO employees, and the innovative technology we have worked so hard to perfect.

The full statement from Espro can be found here.

This story is developing…

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