Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property Report Reveals New Trends in the Food Packaging Industry

By Thomson Reuters Ip Solutions, PRNE
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Women prefer environmentally-friendly packaging, men: convenience; industry lacks "green" packaging standards

NEW YORK, April 13, 2011 - Women are 14% more likely than men to select environmentally-friendly
packaging over non-"green," more-convenient alternatives, according to a
recent study of 1,011 adults commissioned by the IP Solutions business of
Thomson Reuters. Men surveyed were more apt to select products packaged to
provide greater convenience.

This finding is part of an intellectual property report released by
Thomson Reuters, World IP Today: Convenience vs. Conscience - Food Packaging
in the 21st Century, that explores the food packaging industry to identify
its trends and drivers. The analysis assesses the state of food- and
beverage-packaging innovation across a number of information sources,
including patents, trademarks, scientific literature and litigation data.

Key findings from the report include:

    -- Convenience vs. Conscience - a tie: In the great "convenience versus
       conscience debate," people are fairly evenly split between
       environmental conscience and consumer convenience when it comes to
       making food- and beverage-packaging decisions. The industry is headed
       in the direction of providing both convenient packaging and
       conscientious protection of the environment, satisfying both needs
       rather than making it an either/or decision.

    -- Consumer-facing companies top leader lists: Companies such as Procter
       & Gamble, Kraft Foods and Mars Inc. are the top B2C
       (business-to-consumer) filers of design patents in terms of their
       packaging innovation; while others such as Reynolds, Solo Cup Company
       and Nestle are the leading consumer product companies filing for
       protection of packaging-related trademarks. The top B2B
       (business-to-business) packaging innovators who supply the consumer
       product companies include Dianippon Printing, Toppan Printing and
       Yoshino Kogyosho (Yoshino Plastics).

    -- Green labeling "loophole": While patents mentioning biodegradability,
       recycling and barrier films are increasing in frequency, a lack of
       standardization in what constitutes an environmentally-friendly
       package has resulted in ambiguity as to which packages really are
       "green." With organizations including the US Federal Trade Commission,
       US Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the European Organization for
       Packaging and the Environment currently working on standards, this
       issue will likely receive more attention in coming months.

    -- Looking ahead - interactive packaging: Beyond the "green" theme, other
       key areas of focus showing up in the Thomson Reuters analysis are
       innovations in tamper-evident packaging and interactive packages that
       use RFID technology to track food from source to destination.

"Analysis in the Convenience vs. Conscience - Food Packaging in the 21st
Century report shows the insight that can be gleaned from studying
intellectual property information and related scientific-journal data," said
Susan Cullen, Ph.D., Thomson Reuters IP practice director and co-author of
the report. "It is our hope that readers will see the unique perspective IP
data provides and look to it when making business decisions and trying to
understand an area more clearly."

The data in this report were compiled using the Thomson Innovation(R) IP
research and analysis platform, which incorporates the Derwent World Patents
Index(R) (DWPISM) database of 20 million patent families covering more than
42.5 million patent documents. Trademark research was conducted using
SAEGIS(TM), an online trademark screening solution. Litigation information
was gathered using IP Monitor on Westlaw, Thomson Reuters industry-leading
legal research service.

To view the full report, World IP Today: Convenience vs. Conscience -
Food Packaging in the 21st Century, go to

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Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions, +1-203-868-3340, laura.gaze at, or John Roderick, Principal, J. Roderick Inc., +1-631-656-9736, john at

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