Kellogg Defeats Lawsuit Claiming it Ripped Off Breakfast Cereal Drink Idea

Its a gr-r-reat win for Tony the Tiger and company. An appeals court has declined to review a lower court’s dismissal of a New York resident’s lawsuit claiming that the cereal maker stole his idea for a breakfast cereal drink after he submitted the proposal to Kellogg.
On morning, Kyle Wilson was enjoying his lifelong love, Fruit Loops cereal, and read an invitation on the back of the box asking for “Gr-r-reat Ideas!” The father of five apparently didn’t always have time to enjoy his sugary breakfast treat and developed the concept of flavored cereal milk breakfast to go. Wilson went to Kellogg’s website which welcomed the presentation of “ideas and innovations” through an easy to use online portal. In 2008, Wilson submitted his idea and as seen below, Wilson even included a mock-up of a bottle with his submission. Wilson received a response from Kellogg stating that there were not interested in his concept; so Wilson was left to labor over his bowl of cereal and milk every morning.
In 2013, Kellogg launched its “Kellogg’s Breakfast to Go” line which is, according to Kellogg, a bowl of cereal and milk in a portable beverage format. Wilson, thinking that Kellogg stole his idea, sent a nasty-gram outlining his claim to Kellogg. Kellogg responded stating that the products are not similar and that even if they are, Wilson apparently forgot to read the dreaded legal “Terms and Conditions” of his submission. The fine print states that any rights to the ideas are granted to Kellogg when you hit the submission button. The legal terms did not deter plaintiff and he filed this lawsuit against Kellogg for breach of contract and conversion of an idea.
In June 2015, the District Court, relying upon those ignored legal terms, dismissed the case and yesterday the Second Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the dismissal. Wilson conceded that he agreed to the Terms and Conditions and further conceded that these terms were not unconscionable. The Appeals Court stated that these two concessions are fatal to Wilson’s claims. Wilson agreed to the contract and must be bound by it.
Lesson learned: always read and think twice before you just click yes and agree to terms and conditions. They are a legally binding contracts and you might wind up like Wilson with soggy Fruit Loops and an expensive bill from your attorney.