What is allegedly locked up in a humungous safe that the New York Times notes is “encased in two feet of concrete and guarded by video cameras and motion detectors?”
Nuclear codes? The world’s largest diamond? Priceless artwork?
Actually, rumor has it that what rests safely behind that safe’s locked doors is a recipe.
And, yes, you’re right — the ingredients pertain to the recipe developed many years ago by Harland Sanders, the now deceased founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. We’re talking that secret ‘blend of 11 spices” that is so closely guarded by company officials.
In fact, KFC makes it eminently clear that it regards the chicken recipe as a trade secret and top-shelf intellectual property that the company will instantly seek to protect through litigation if a third party seeks to publicly divulge it.
A recent look by the Times at KFC’s hard-line stance underscores how deadly serious the company is about protecting what it obviously regards as vital to the company’s history and success and how quick KFC is to pull the legal trigger on any alleged infringer.
The Times article provides an internal link to a related story revealing that all KFC employees who learn of the recipe’s ingredients through the course of employment are required to sign confidentiality agreements. Moreover, the company reportedly buys ingredients from a number of vendors, so that it is impossible for any individual or company to collectively put all the pieces of the recipe puzzle together.
When someone does and even hints at public disclosure, litigation is more than a possibility. The company has shown repeatedly that it will file a lawsuit quickly in any instance where it believes its intellectual property might be threatened.