A Minnesota marketer of communion-wafer dispensers is accusing its former president of patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. (.pdf)
The allegations in a Dec. 30 federal lawsuit come amid a fledgling market for such dispensing devices, as those receiving communion seek a germ-free environment. The handheld devices allow the dispensing of wafers without being touched by anybody but those receiving them.
What’s more, the portable devices, according to the lawsuit, “easily deliver communion to military personnel in combat situations and to people who are hospitalized, infirm or otherwise immobile.”
Among other things, Nu-Life Products of Minnesota claims it owns technology known as the “rapid reload system” for fast wafer loading and the “quad-rotator technology” allowing up to 400 wafers to be dispensed without having to be refilled.
The defendant in the case, former company president Douglas Henricksen of Wisconsin, says he never sold a single unit of the competing “Communalabra germ-free communion-host–delivery system” and that he didn’t misappropriate any of his former employer’s properties while operating a similarly named company called Nu-Life Church Supplies.
“This is blown way out of proportion,” Henricksen said in a telephone interview. “I was the person who actually designed the communion-host dispenser. I actually built the entire company myself.”
Now if they only knew about the pricing structure of Mil Spec items...