Friday, July 11, 2008, 7/11/2008 08:34:00 AM

Brother vs. Brothers Trade Secrets Dispute

From the Herald Bulletin of Anderson, Indiana, a story about a bitter dispute over trade secrets pitting brother against brothers.

According to the story, Indianapolis-based Darlington Farms and owner Phil Hockemeyer filed a lawsuit against Rubicon Foods LLC, a company founded by Hockemeyer’s younger brothers, Steve and Todd. The companies make easily digestible food products that are sold to health care facilities and nursing homes.

Darlington’s lawsuit claims that Steve and Todd Hockemeyer took proprietary information -- including customer details and business plans -- when they left Darlington and formed Rubicon in 2006.

Rubicon has filed a counter claim seeking thousands of dollars in unpaid compensation from Darlington and nearly a million dollars in lost revenues. Todd Hockemeyer of Rubicon said Darlington had used information garnered during the lawsuit to alter its products to closely resemble Rubicon’s product line.

These sorts of family disputes can be vicious.

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