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Man Sues Over Bad-Breath Device

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 8:10am
Editor's Note: Fighting over ownership of an idea is a sad and old tale, with only the cast of characters changing. There's a new movie out about the fight over the patent on the intermittent windshild wiper. 

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Boston-area inventor sued Kimberly-Clark Corp on Tuesday, contending that the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers had violated his patent for a device to detect bad breath.

The man, Marv Freadman of Chelsea, Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit in Boston federal court, saying that the Dallas-based consumer products maker is developing a "visual indicating device for bad breath."

The device, Freadman said in court papers, works by detecting carbon dioxide and other gases given off by the bacteria that cause bad breath. Freadman said that he had already patented a similar device.

The company has its own later patent on the device, according to court papers.

The suit asks the court to stop Kimberly-Clark from using the technology and also seeks unspecified monetary damages.

A spokesman for Kimberly-Clark said he had not yet seen a copy of the lawsuit and therefore could not comment.

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