Stated to me by two different trusted sources, there is a rumor going around about the Purina lawsuit against Blue Buffalo. Though I doubt we’ll ever learn if its true, it does shine an interesting light on this lawsuit.
The rumor is: the lawsuit of Purina versus Blue Buffalo’s marketing claims stems out of a failed purchase attempt. Again – rumor – Purina tried to purchase Blue Buffalo, and when that failed Purina filed the lawsuit.
There have been rumors in the pet food industry for several years that Blue Buffalo was positioning themselves to be bought out. Speculating…if those rumors were true, it could make sense that Purina could have been one of those potential buyers.
More speculation…if Purina did some significant homework on Blue (prior to purchase attempt) it could be that at that point Purina discovered (what their lawsuit claims) Blue’s use of by-product and grains.
I have no idea if these rumors are true, but it does make one wonder. Is Purina a sore loser?
Purina has a history of suing competitors. In 2009 one of those competitors sued back and won. In 1999, almost 20 years after Wysong Pet Foods had developed the technology to provide probiotics in pet foods, Nestle Purina applied for and was granted a patent by the US Patent Office as inventor of the technology. At the time, Purina was not including probiotics in their pet foods, but the company was receiving licensing fees from other pet foods that did. Wysong refused to pay Purina and Purina sued. Wysong answered with proof that Dr. Wysong actually invented the technology many years prior. The US Patent Office agreed with Wysong.
We don’t know if these rumors are true or just rumors. I have reached out to Purina (for multiple questions) and have yet to receive a response.
The following message was received from Blue Buffalo today (5/14/14)…
Dear Ms. Thixton,
The rumor you reported about on May 12, 2014, about discussions between Purina and Blue Buffalo is not true. There have been no discussion about any transaction between Blue Buffalo and Nestle Purina, or any affiliate of Nestle Purina. Your cooperation in correcting this will be greatly appreciated.
Richard MacLean, General Counsel, Blue Buffalo Company.
Still no response from Purina.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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