Monday, March 30, 2015

David Wawrzynski accuses H. J. Heinz of taking his idea

There is a disagreement in Pittsburgh between Heinz and an idea-pitcher, which underscores the need for a company to document interactions with third parties presenting ideas to the company.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Attorneys for David Wawrzynski told jurors today in U.S. District Court that the Pittsburgh food company listened to his ideas in 2008 then stopped working with him.

Two years later, Heinz introduced the Dip & Squeeze packets with great fanfare.

Mr. Wawrzynski's attorney Eugene Boyle told the jury, "I heard George Stephanopoulos talking about it on 'Good Morning America.' "

But Heinz attorneys laid out a scenario where they had developed PowerPoint presentations as far back as 2002 discussing ideas for a ketchup packet that could be used to dip fries in or squeeze ketchup on a burger.

Their "dunk and squirt" packet stalled in 2006 because it could not be produced at a reasonable cost. But attorneys said the idea was revived in 2008 when new staff took another look at the idea.




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