Processing Magazine

Coca-Cola tries to block request for documents in trade secrets theft case

January 9, 2007

The Coca-Cola Co. recently sought to block a defense lawyer''s request for documents in a trade secrets theft case that relates to products the world''s largest beverage maker developed but never launched. According to the Associated Press, the Atlanta-based company filed a motion in federal court to quash a subpoena by Joya Williams'' lawyer for the documents in preparation for Williams'' Jan. 16 trial. Williams is charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from Coca-Cola in an effort to sell them to rival Pepsi. Two co-defendants have already plead guilty in the case, and at least one is expected to testify against Williams, a former Coca-Cola secretary who worked for the company''s global brand director at its headquarters. The company is objecting to production of two of the categories: documents reflecting all products Coca-Cola developed or which were in development but didn''t launch within the last three years; and documents reflecting all marketing strategies formulated by or for Coca-Cola that were termed confidential or secret but were not used in the last three years. Williams, Edmund Duhaney and Ibrahim Dimson were indicted July 11 on federal conspiracy charges. The three were accused of stealing new product samples and confidential documents from Coca-Cola and trying to sell them to Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc. The alleged plans were foiled after Pepsi warned Coca-Cola.