Tuesday, June 12, 2007, 6/12/2007 03:07:00 PM

The "Nut Dust" in The Cookies Made Them Mmmm, So Good

By Todd
Kudos to the Worcester Business Journal for its piece on trade secret protections. But the article contained a weird reference to a trade secret claim brought over twenty years ago that we found, um, intriguing.

Seems that in 1984, Peggy Lawton Kitchens Inc. of Walpole, Massachusetts sued its former employee Terence M. Hogan after he opened a business selling chocolate chip cookies identical to Lawton's highly successful brand, including a secret ingredient: the "chaff" from walnuts, or "nut dust." A Superior Court judge ruled that the nut dust-laden recipe qualified as a trade secret, despite the vast majority of it - eggs, flour, chips - being no different from the make-up of most cookies.

Makes sense. But doesn't everybody now know that "nut dust" is how Lawton got those cookies tasting so good? We're going to try that one and report back.

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