January 29, 2010
Do you know the Muffin Man?
Suppose you had a secret recipe that had made your company the dominant firm in your field for more than 125 years. And suppose there were only ten people on earth who knew the secret recipe, all of whom learned it from you and work for you. And suppose that there were other giant firms out there that would like nothing better than to knock you off your perch. And suppose one of them had just hired one of those ten.
That appears to be the situationthat Bimbo Bakeries USA, parent of Thomas' English Muffins, is dealing with. You'd think that the company would have locked up those ten employees with good, solid noncompete contracts, but apparently it didn't. So now it's trying to prevent a former executive who knows the secret of how you get Thomas's famous "nooks and crannies" [left] from jumping ship to Hostess Brands, a major competitor of Bimbo. The trade secret law, according to the report from Law.com, looks chancy.
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