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Pepsi Recipe at Issue in Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed by heirs of the individual that created the recipe for Pepsi in 1931 in Federal Court in the Southern District of New York. According to the lawsuit, the family found the recipe when looking through personal documents owned by Richard John Ritchie. The family has brought suit against PepsiCo claiming that it should be allowed to share the history of Mr. Ritchie — including the recipe that is apparently contained in some of his documents. PepsiCo has responded to the lawsuit by claiming that any disclosure of the recipe would violate its trade secrets.

This lawsuit highlights the importance of maintaining and securing trade secrets. In order to protect its interests in its designs, business process, customer lists or other important assets a business must take affirmative action to prevent the disclosure of these “secrets.” Confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements are a first step that should be taken by companies seeking to protect any trade secrets from disclosure by employees or others that may have the information.

If you company has information that should be kept confidential the lawyers at Penzien & McBride can assist you with the drafting of agreements and policies that will help keep those assets from being disclosed. Contact us at (586) 690-4400 for more information.