Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 10/13/2009 10:56:00 AM

The Trade Secrets of Greek Yogurt Going on Trial in New Hampshire

By Todd

Okay, admit it. You eat yogurt. You were convinced by all those advertisements back in the 1970s that if you eat yogurt regularly you'll live to be 110 years old.

Stonyfield Farm sells yogurt but they apparently didn't know how to make Greek yogurt before they hooked up with Agro-Farma from upstate New York. Agro-Farma penned a deal with Stonyfield Farm to manufacture its Greek yogurt - a particularly creamy form of yogurt because the whey is strained out and removed. Agro-Farma itself got removed when Stonyfield Farm struck up a new relationship with Schrieber Foods from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

So Agra-Farma sued claiming that Stonyfield Farm and Schrieber Foods stole their Greek yogurt trade secrets. As the report from the Union Leader pithily notes "the business relationship turned sour." A federal judge in New Hampshire is letting Agro-Farma try its case before a jury. Their attorney notes: "We are confident that New Hampshire law will protect Agro-Farma's ideas and processes for manufacturing Greek yogurt . . . We believe that a jury will recognize the novelty and value of Agro-Farma's intellectual property, without which Stonyfield could neither make nor market its 'Oikos' Greek yogurt product."

The yogurt wars continue . . . .


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