According to a US newspaper (the Detroit Free Press), the sauce and condiment firm H.J. Heinz is being sued for intellectual property theft over their new ‘Dip & Squeeze’ sauce packs.
The owner of an online food retail company, David Wawrzynski, is claiming that Heinz executives stole his idea for the format of the ‘Dip & Squeeze’ packs and are using it for their profit without compensating him.
The ‘Dip & Squeeze’ packs, used widely in the US rather than the UK, are uniwue in that they can be opened in two ways. The consumer can peel the lid off for dipping, or tear the end of the pack off to squeeze sauce onto food.
Wawrzynski claims that after coming up with the idea in the 1990s and calling it ‘Little Dipper’, he pitched it to Heinz in 2008. It is alleged that the company were initially on board with the idea, engaging Wawrzynski in a series of meetings with executives and other correspondence.
Wawrzynski even claims he was asked to produce 100 samples of the packaging for focus groups to test, but Heinz later pulled out.
Heinz – no doubt with the backing of an army of legal advisors and an airtight professional indemnity policy for claims of intellectual property theft – is insisting that the allegations and the lawsuit are “groundless”.