On the left, Jusir, and on the right, Juicero.
A San Francisco company that says it's "revolutionizing the home juicing industry" is bringing a wide-ranging intellectual property suit against a Chinese competitor.
In a complaint that reads as part infomercial, part internet flame war, Juicero Inc. and its Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan attorneys accuse Shanghai-based iTaste Co. of infringing the design, operation, name and even the slogans of its Juicero cold-press juicer.
"Juicero is changing how people access fresh-squeezed, nutrient-dense juice in their own homes," according to the complaint signed by Quinn Emanuel partner Kevin Johnson. But iTaste and its distributor Froothie USA LLC are selling a knockoff called the Juisir that copies Juicero's "beautiful, optimistic, and playful appearance" that is "luxurious yet approachable."
How can Juicero Inc. be so confident that Juisir is a knockoff? According to the April 6 complaint pending in San Jose federal court, several internet commenters said so. A commenter on a Forbes article called Juisir "an almost direct clone" of the Juicero, and a Reddit poster described it is "a blatant ripoff," according to the complaint.
A lot of green is at stake in Juicero v. iTaste. Juicero markets its blenders for $400 a machine and charges an additional $5 to $7 for each prepackaged produce bag the machines process. The company raised $120 million in venture financing ahead of its 2016 launch, according to the New York Times.
The Juisir, which is promoted on websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo for $495, has a similar appearance but lets users fill bags with their own produce. The bags also load into the machine through a slot in the top, whereas Juicero has a door that swings open.
But it's Juicero's cold-pressing technology that has "changed the home juicing landscape," the complaint said. The machine delivers thousands of pounds of force to extract high-nutrient juice "without generating either heat or a mess, with no cleanup of the juice machine required, all on the kitchen counter."
The Juisir infringes in part by utilizing "a region that receives juicer cartridges" and "a pressing element that applies pressure to the juicer cartridge to extract fluid from it without the fluid or food matter touching the machine," the complaint states.
iTaste has copied the technology, the design, the name--even its slogan of providing cold-pressed juice "at the push of a button," Juicero alleges. Quinn Emanuel New York partner Joseph Milowic III and associates Brett Arnold and Margaret Shyr are also listed on the complaint.
An attorney listed on Juisur's trademark application did not immediately reply to an email requesting comment. Neither did representatives of Froothie.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman.