Pepsi Sued By Develper Heirs Over Formula Papers

by James Denison - 5/7/12 1:11 PM

This could get nasty, an in house fight by Pepsi with the heirs to the man who created the last Pepsi cola formulation and over how much rights they have to the formula. Pepsi says it's "trade secrets" and not theirs.

In 1941, the suit says Ritchie provided the
then-president of Pepsi with a copy of his "invention"; that duplicate
was kept in a bank vault by the company. Pepsi was aware that Ritchie
kept the original document for himself, according to the suit.Ritchie
died in 1985; the documents weren't discovered in his boxes by his
heirs until 2008. After a family member notified a PepsiCo historian of
the documents, a company representative visited the home to view the
materials. The company subsequently demanded the return of the documents
and said any disclosure of them would be a misappropriation of a Pepsi
trade secret, according to the suit.

The daughter and son of Richard Ritchie say PepsiCo is interfering with
their ability to market or sell the rights of their father's life story
and documents detailing his 1931 soda formula. The suit seeks a
declaration that their disclosure of the documents would be protected by
First Amendment rights and wouldn't be considered a trade secret
violation.