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Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Texas Taco Fight over Trade Secrets

Frank snyderOur Founding Editor Frank Snyder (pictured) sent us this story from the Fort Worth Business Press about a dispute over the "chef-inspired" offeerings at the three-store Texas Taco chain.  Another chain, Torchy's Taco, is alleging that Texas Taco's menu is based on Torchy's "Taco Bible."  

The alleged Edward Snowden of this taco thriller is an ex-Torchy's grill cook who is now working for Texas Taco.  The employee allegedly attempted to steal Torchy's Taco Bible by slipping it under his shirt.  Torchy's caught this on video camera and ordered the employee to return to Bible.  He surrendered the Bible and was fired.  Apparently, Torchy's neglected to confiscate the microfilm (or flash drive or whatever device the employee allegedly used to copy the recipes).  Some months later, some of Torchy's descriptions of its tacos appeared on Texas Taco menus that gave the creations new names.  

It is not entirely clear whether the employee is now being sued for beach of a covenant not to compete, for theft of trade secrets or both.  Both the cook and Texas Taco deny any wrongdoing. 

[JT]

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