Friday, July 10, 2009
Fish Fillets at Twenty Paces
Apparently, Alfred and Paul Fraser are co-owners of patent number 4,781,930, called Method of preparing a fish product. Here's what it covers:
A method of preparing a fish product comprising filleting a fish to appropriate thickness, immediately immersing the filleted fish in a vegetable oil for a period of 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature to effect absorption of the oil to a depth such as to inhibit excretion of the natural fluids from the fillet and prevent incursion of air and moisture, draining the excess oil from the surface, covering the surface with crumbs and then freezing the fillet.The now 21-year-old patent (which means it's expired) was for dunking fish in oil, draining the excess, and then covering it in crumbs and freezing it for later. Back in 2006, the Frazer boys decided to start suing pretty much everyone they could find in the fish stick business, including Gortons and Mrs. Paul's. The defendants ended up winning the fish fillet follies, getting a Massachusetts court to provide a summary judgment:
- Five defendants didn't even start with fresh fish and didn't soak what they had in oil.
- Two of the defendant companies had either filed for bankruptcy or been dissolved.
- The remaining two defendants who might have been sued were not properly served with the suit papers, as a "return of service merely noting delivery to 'girl at front disk'" apparently didn't meet comply with state rules.