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Self-Serve Milkshake Maker Trial Threatens to Freeze Out Rival

  • Rich Products says Hamilton Beach infringes blender patents
  • Control of $2 billion prepared-milkshake market at stake
Smoothie and milkshake cup machine in the hospital's cafeteria
Smoothie and milkshake cup machine in the hospital's cafeteriaPhotographer: Christopher Yasiejko/Bloomberg

The sock-hop days when ‘50s diners whipped up frosty milkshakes are gone. Now, convenience stores stocked with blenders serve up fountain treats -- and do-it-yourself milkshakes, smoothies and frozen cappuccinos are hot.

f’real Foods LLC makes what it calls a “magical blending machine.” On Monday, lawyers for the company will tell a federal jury that rivals Hamilton Beach Brands Inc. and Hershey Creamery Co. are stealing some of its magic.