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Heinz in Hot Mustard Over New Ketchup Packet

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A recent Wall Street Journal article “Heinz Sued Over ‘Dip & Squeeze‘” revealed that a Chicago inventor is putting the legal squeeze on Heinz for patent infringement. The inventor, Scott White,  says that he had a “flash of inspiration” and approached Heinz in 2005 with his own condiment dispenser he calls the “CondiCup” which was rejected by the company. (Mr. White filed for a patent for his product the same year and received the patent approval this year.)

Heinz, in requisite corporate fashion, responded to the inventor’s claims by stating that the lawsuit was “frivolous” and had “no merit”. They further stated that they’ve been working on the new package “for years”. Sounds vaguely like what Ford said about the intermittent wiper system that Dr. Kearns invented and pitched to Ford (Kearns won his lawsuit against Ford who essentially lifted his idea and marketed it as their own).

If Mr. White’s claims are supported by documentation,  how nice it would be if Heinz just did the right thing and said mea culpa – and paid the man fair and square for his ingenuity. But with the potential for Heinz to score big profits for this ingenious condiment packet, that’s probably not probable.

We don’t have all the facts yet. But Mr. White’s reported timeline from concept pitch and initial patent filing to his claim of a valid patent sure puts Heinz’ ketchup packet claims in hot mustard right now…and if proven true,  could leave some mighty juicy, tomato-faced managers at the giant food conglomerate.


P.S. If you’ve read as many books as I have on patents, trademarks, and inventing – and the many caveats about dealing with big corporations as an inventor – it’s hard not to root for the underdog.

P.P.S. One interesting note…on the Heinz Wiki there’s a short paragraph dedicated to the founder, Henry John Heinz:

Henry John Heinz learned from his parent’s ideas, making him a progressive businessman. He believed in fairness in business, saying, “Deal with the seller so justly that he will want to sell to you again”.

Hmmmm…sounds like part of a Mission Statement to me. Wonder what great grandpa would say about this business?

© 2012 Dummy Zero™ All Rights Reserved


I”m Going to Lie to You But It’s the Truth

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True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing– Socrates

Imagine if virtually every moment of our lives we remained an empty vessel ready to accept all sensory inputs – aural, visual, and kinesthetic. Imagine each subtle flake of knowledge being imparted into your brain and ultimately laminating your physiology with the nearly instantaneous welcoming and accepting nuances of thought and action.

Imagine the power to act with pure thought upon pure understanding. But could we? Could we really act or would we have to? And if we did act, what would we act upon if we had such constantly immersive experiences…wouldn’t the constant ebb and flux of answers overwhelm our questions at some point – like some kind of intellectual diminishing rate of return. What happens if we have more answers than questions? Could we sustain that modality and survive as humans? Could we flourish?

For over three decades I’ve personally been acquiring knowledge at various levels of understanding – both serendipitously as well as intentionally – to improve my life, no matter if it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual.

What I’ve noticed is that all that we learn with our senses either deliberately as a finely tuned filter or as a cell-full sponge can still only “layer’ our psyches. But these days the pyroclastic flow of information impedes our ability to effectively process virtually all new information efficiently. And many people seem to remain preserved in a perpetual state of subconscious paralysis only able to handle a single momentary trickle of data. So they become picky about what they want to learn and absorb and become unaware of the effects of their dis-flowed evolutionary condition.

But how much of that information flow being hurled at us is really necessary? And how much of it is new or perceived as new? If we filter out “old wives tales” and historical truisms and the fluff and circumstance in the common stream of our life, is what’s left over new information? Is this new information globally available for anyone to inspect if they want to? Or is it only available to those who actively seek it out and attempt to make sense of it? And is the rapid cycle of information propagation as tiered as people’s ability to process and understand it? I sense and admire the structure within this chaos.

So what have I learned? Well, without the tedium of listing everything I’ve been massaging and tossing about since I was a kid and old enough to reason, I believe that I can confidently and succinctly say – nothing!

And that leads me full circle to the beginning where it all started:

True knowledge exists in admitting that you still know nothing” – cameron

See…I lied. I do know something.

But it’s the truth.

© 2012 Dummy Zero™ All Rights Reserved

Innovation is a natural process. And it’s Simple. So why the hell do so many people make such a complex voodoo mess of it?

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I’ve been reading a lot online lately about innovation. Holy Kwap on a Kwakah – from where does some of that digital dung derive? Talk about painful obfuscation. Acronyms and “business speak” out the gas jets. Pedantic gibberish bantered about as conversation. I’m sure they all knew what they were talking about. But I blew through a couple of my own gas jet gaskets trying to wade through all that morass trying to understand what the hell they were saying.

I’ll dive into creativity and innovation in a later post and instead leave you with one of my favorite quotes.

“Ich habe keine besondere Begabung, sondern bin nur leidenschaftlich neugierig “

-Albert Einstein

Isn’t this just the short and sweet of it?

P.S. “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious”

© 2012 Dummy Zero™ All Rights Reserved