H.J. Heinz has been sued by an employee of the Chicago Housing Authority, for stealing his idea of the concept behind Heinz's 'Dip & Squeeze' ketchup packet.
It seems as if the giant company is facing trouble from a smaller one as H.J. Heinz Co. has been sued by an employee from Chicago Housing Authority for stealing his concept which is being sued to create Heinz's 'Dip & Squeeze' ketchup holder. The man who is suing Heinz is identified as Scott White, who claims that he basically gave the idea behind the 'Dip & Squeeze' packet, which Heinz now manufactures, but that he was never given credit or compensation for it.
According to the details provided, Scott White applied for the patent of his idea back in 2005 and it was just granted last month. His idea was that of a condiment container that gave the user the option of either squeezing out the contents of the package or lifting the lid to gain access to it. He termed his invention as the 'CondiCup', and trademarked the name in his filings for the patent. White said that when he came up with the idea of the 'CondiCup', he took it to Heinz and even travelled till Pittsburgh, where the company's office is located, to pitch the idea to them. However, Heinz declined to work with White. "The behemoth international company could not be bothered to contract with a start-up American small business," he charged In his complaint according to a report by msnbc.com.
Scott White even mentioned in the complaint that even though Heinz's Dip & Squeeze is not entirely identical to what he had created, yet here is a lot of similarity in the concept. White's CondiCup was round and was designed to fit in a car cup holder without spilling, whereas Dip & Squeeze is shaped like a ketchup bottle.
Scott White argued that Heinz stated in its 2010 annual report that it planned to launch a 'revolutionary package', and it also said that it had been working on the Dip & Squeeze package for three years. White pointed out that it was two years after he presented his concept to Heinz, showing that it was his idea which had been stolen.
H.J. Heinz has been made aware of the situation and a spokesman told msnbc.com, "Heinz will defend its position and demonstrate that the plaintiff's allegations are groundless and without merit."