Sunday, August 19, 2012
Heinz Ketchup Accused Of Stealing An Inventors Idea? Say It Ain't So!
Aren't those Heinz 'Dip & Squeeze' packs really cool? You can dip your French Fries in them or rip off the top and squeeze the Ketchup on the top of your Burger. How did they think of that? By stealing the idea from a small time inventor.
Chicago inventor Scott White created and patented his 'Condi-Cup' in which you can either dip or squeeze the Ketchup...sound familiar?
To make matters worse Mr. Scott emailed his idea to Heinz a few years back to try and get them to buy it from him. Heinz even went so far as to invite him in to present the idea to them, how strange that they would then rip him off, right?
Here is a major fact:
Scott filed his patent way back in 2005 and Heinz didn't come out with their version until 2011.
Granted, Mr. Scotts idea really isn't all that original since it just combines two items that were already in the market, Ketchup packs and Dipping Sauces. Heinz could have certainly come up with the idea on their own which may or may not have been a coincidence...well, errr, not really. You see since he had prior contact with them and they invited him in for a meeting that shows that he gave them the idea even if they changed it a bit.
Ever hear of Facebook? Not that it's similar but the principal is the same. You can't take someones idea and make it your own, even if you change it so that it's a little different.
There is some grey area however and Heinz will surely try and take advantage of that with their high powered lawyers. I remember the line in 'The Social Network' where the character of Mark Zuckerberg says..."Look, a guy who builds a nice chair doesn't owe money to everyone who ever has built a chair, okay? They came to me with an idea, I had a better one." Hmmm...grey area.
That's why it sucks to be the small guy who tries to engage a large company that has all the money and power. You can't trust them. They will screw you.
Let's just hope Heinz sees the err of their ways and gives the man credit otherwise it will be up to a courtroom to decide who's right and who's wrong...
You know what? Chick-Fil-A uses those Heinz 'Dip & Squeeze' packets...