According to news sources, the companies that make 5-Hour Energy have filed a complaint in an Oregon state court seeking a declaration that the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is not entitled to what the companies contend are trade secrets, that is, the amounts of ingredients used to make the energy shots.
Oregon’s DOJ is apparently part of an executive committee leading a 33-state investigation into Innovation Ventures, LLC and Living Essentials, LLC and has demanded a list of ingredients, including their amounts, to decide whether the companies were justified in claiming that use of the product does not lead to a “crash.” While the companies reportedly provided the DOJ with copies of materials submitted to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus to support their ad claims in 2007, they redacted the amounts, but not the ingredients, claiming that they are “highly confidential and proprietary trade secrets.”
The companies contend that a confidentiality agreement with the DOJ will not protect the formula from disclosure, because it will be made accessible to every state involved in the investigation and will be subject to public records laws. They note that the National Advertising Division, as a private entity, is not required to disclose the information. See The Oregonian, June 18, 2013; StatesmanJournal.com, June 19, 2013.