The Guardian, the newspaper beloved by conspiracy theorists, has uncovered industrial skulduggery from an unexpected source, according to its website last week.
‘Procter & Gamble unveils cunning plan’ trumpeted the report’s headline.
‘P&G, one of the world’s biggest companies, is asking customers to come up with ideas for new products – but is making them sign away all their rights to their own ideas,’ thundered the story.
A call to P&G produced this response: ‘We have worked with customers for years to generate new product ideas. This is simply using a new channel to do so.
‘If a consumer expresses interest in maintaining ownership of an idea, we immediately connect them with our patent department. We respect intellectual property.’
That is why customers are made to agree to sign away all rights to their ideas forever before they are allowed to submit them, presumably.