May 2, 2011 - Crayola, aka Binney and Smith, and a small competitor called C2C Technologies are involved in litigation over whether Crayola's new washable colored bubbles infringe C2C's patent.
C2C, a small Minnesota-based company, was awarded a patent on March 22 for colored bubbles. That very day, Crayola filed a reexamination petition with the Patent Office, arguing that the invention is neither novel (new) nor nonobvious (unique), and therefore, should not have been patented.
"Uniformly colored bubbles are in the public domain, and have been there for many years," said Crayola in its petition.
Marc Matsoff, whose Jamm Companies is a minority partner with C2C and distributes C2C's colored bubble product, Zubbles, said the plaintiffs hope to cooperate with Crayola and perhaps allow Crayola to adopt one of their patent-pending technologies: bubbles with vanishing colors.
"Ideally, we'd be able to pool our resources rather than pay a bunch of lawyers," said Matsoff.