For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

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Friday, 25 May 2007

Coca Cola secrets 'theft' woman jailed

The IPKat is grateful to Patricia Covarrubia for pointing him in the direction of news from the BBC that Joya Williams, the secretary at Coca Cola who offered the recipe for, and samples of, a new product and on to Pepsi, has been jailed for 8 years. Pepsi refused to bite, and alerted Coca Cola and subsequently cooperated with the FBI. In sentencing Williams, District Judge J Owen Forrester said ‘This is the kind of offence that cannot be tolerated in our society’.

The IPKat’s initial response to this comment was incredulity, but thinking about it a bit more carefully, the IPKat notes that the rate sought for these trade secrets was $1.5m. A theft of similarity valued tangible property would most likely attract similar condemnation and a similar sentence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...but your average woman on the street should be pretty familiar with the idea that stealing $1.5m of tangible assets could land her up in jail ... are intellectual property crimes as widely understood? Ignorance may be no excuse, but to expect equal punish seems somewhat arbitrary.

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