A federal jury in Pennsylvania has found that H.J. Heinz Co. did not appropriate the idea of a dual-opening condiment packaging, the “Dip & Squeeze” packet, from a man who proposed a similar idea during a meeting with the company. Wawrzynski v. H.J. Heinz Co., No. 11-1098 (W.D. Penn., verdict entered April 1, 2015). The plaintiff claimed that after he presented his “Little Dipper” packaging to the company in 2008, Heinz commissioned him to create samples for testing then abruptly ended the relationship in 2009. The “Dip & Squeeze” packet was introduced in 2010. After a three-day trial, the jury found that the man’s idea was novel but different from the product that Heinz ultimately pursued. Additional details on the case appear in Issues 531 and 552 of this Update. See Law360, April 1, 2015; Legal Intelligencer, April 2, 2015.


Issue 560

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.