Federal Circuit Court Upholds Blendtec’s $24M Patent Infringement Award

Utah-based blender company grateful for resolution in 7-year dispute.

OREM, UTAH – September 10, 2012.  

The Federal Circuit of Appeals on Thursday upheld Blendtec’s $24 million willful patent infringement award, rejecting Vita-Mix Corp.'s appeal of the damages that a Utah federal court ordered Vita-Mix to pay its rival for selling blenders that infringed two of Blendtec's patents.

“This decision sends a strong message to those who would attempt to profit from the labor and ideas of someone else. Truly it’s a win for America’s visionaries, innovators, and entrepreneurs, who build dreams, create jobs, and positively impact the economy,” says Tom Dickson, founder and CEO of Blendtec, who invented the revolutionary WildSide™ jar, which was the subject of the case.

“As we close this chapter, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many individuals—patent examiners, judges, jurors, attorneys, and many others—who devoted their time and effort to protecting intellectual property rights and produced a fair and accurate outcome.”

In the ruling issued September 6, Federal Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, Alan Lourie, and Sharon Prost affirmed the US District Court’s earlier ruling that Vita-Mix had knowingly and irreparably harmed Blendtec by intentionally copying the company’s WildSide* jar—a five-sided container that blends more quickly and completely than other containers.

The affirmation should bring to a close the protracted legal efforts by Utah-based Blendtec to protect its intellectual assets, upholding the lower court’s $24 million damages award—one of the largest patent infringement awards in the history of Utah.

Innovator versus Imitator

Blendtec patent infringement award

Tom Dickson, Blendtec founder and CEO, as well as inventor of the WildSide Jar


Since 1991, Blendtec has pioneered high-powered blender technology for use in commercial and residential settings. In 2001 Blendtec introduced the WildSide jar, designed with a distinctive fifth side. Competitor Vita-Mix noticed. After attempting—and failing—to devise a competitive jar of its own, Vita-Mix decided to willfully copy Blendtec’s design. District court documents cite former Vita-Mix employees, such as Scott Hinckley, Vita-Mix’s marketing director at the time, who wrote the following in an email about a customer:

“They absolutely LOVE the new Blendtec container. This is an example of how it stacks up to ours: In our machine: 2 drinks take 30 seconds. 3 or more are impossible. In Blendtec’s new container: 4 drinks in 15 seconds.” Jonathan Katz, the director of engineering at Vita-Mix at the time, testified that “although Vita-Mix considered other, design-around concepts, it ultimately chose to continue its infringing design.”

An Appeal without Merit

Throughout the legal process, the evidence was reviewed by numerous individuals, including the trial jury, seven federal judges and four patent examiners—all of whom were unanimous in their support of Blendtec’s case.

The Federal Court of Appeals concluded, “We have considered Vita-Mix’s remaining arguments and conclude that they are without merit.…The judgment of the district court is affirmed.”

For the full text of the opinion of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, see http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/11-1244-1484-1512.pdf

*The WildSide jar is no longer available for purchase. Please check out our new and improved WildSide+ jar, or our Vita-Mix jar replacement - Rebel+ Jar.


  • artemio madrid

    They had a sale at Costco yesterday for blendtec and the lady overwhelmed me and my son with the features, especially the computerized buttons and the one for ice cream. it is really a far cry from Vitamix, so my son bought two, one for himself and one for me.
    Now i can make my own healthy ice cream and smoothies just be pressing a button and not guess like in vitamix. Kudos to your win. you deserve it.

  • Matt Sedlacek

    Having been an affiliate for both Vitamix and Blendtec since 2007, I’ve followed the changes in both companies over the years, both in terms of how their product offerings have evolved, and the quality and means with which they manage and communicate with their affiliates.

    I can’t say enough good things about Blendtec and their affiliate program, by far the best in this industry as the level of service and support they provide to their affiliates is absolutely top notch. Landon Michaels, the current Affiliate & Digital Marketing Manager, is an absolute pleasure to work with. Considering how well they treat their affiliates I’d say this is a sign that they have a high standard of conduct within the company as well.

    I have also been impressed with the consistency with which Blendtec/K-TEC has been innovating in this industry. First with the Wildside container, and more recently the direct drive motor which is the first major change to significantly reduce noise emission from high-end blenders, as well as push past the long standing 7 year warranty standard for both companies, now at 8 years for Blendtec’s products with this technology.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Linda Starr

    I’ve been on the fence, too, but his seals the deal for me as well…plus, Costco has a Blendtec sale until 8/24/14. I’m ordering online tonight!

  • Bob Hurt

    I bought a Vitamix at the Florida State Fair in the year 2000. It came with a 5-year warranty. Three years later, the motor controller started malfunctioning, so the blender would jump from low to high speed unexpectedly. I didn’t send it in to get it fixed within the warranty period, so it still malfunctions, but I have gotten used to it, like someone who developed palsy in childhood. Frankly, I don’t use it as much as I otherwise would because I hate cleaning the thing, AND because much of the food I blend in it gets stuck under or near the blades, and I can only get it out by using my fingers to dislodge it. I bought the Vitamix because I wanted a “nuclear-powered” (so to speak) blender that would blend the toughest foods, make soups, and turn grains into fine flour. But I have found that I have to use the tamper with many foods so as to jam the food into the blades. And sometimes, food compacts in the bottom during blending and I have to turn it off and use a knife to dig down into the muck and dislodge the stuck food from the very bottom of the jar. I’d love to have a Blendtec blender with the easy-to-clean, no-hassle Wildside design. It’s time for a change from my klunky old Vitamix to something better with a new design that Vitamix cannot steal.

  • Deborah Gessell

    I was undecided as well, but this made up my mind.

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