The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against Kellogg Co. alleging the company owed a man compensation after it implemented an idea for a portable breakfast the man had submitted through the company’s online portal for innovative ideas. Wilson v. Kellogg Co., No. 15-2237 (2nd Cir., order entered January 13, 2016).
The man submitted an idea for a beverage flavored like cereal milk, but Kellogg apparently told him it was not interested in pursuing the idea. The company later obtained a trademark for “Kellogg’s Breakfast to Go” and began selling a similar product under the name in 2013. The man sought compensation for the idea, but Kellogg argued that the terms and conditions the man had agreed to upon submission limited his ability to recover any money for a successful submission. The Second Circuit agreed, finding that the terms and conditions served as an express contract that could not sustain the man’s claims of breach of implied contract and unjust enrichment.