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Income Tax Keyed to Graetz
Freda v. Commissioner
Citation:656 F.3d 570 (7th Cir. 2011)
Petitioner was a meat processing company which contracted to sausages and share its trade secrets for producing the sausage with Pizza Hut. The deal also would allow Pizza Hut to share Petitioner’s sausage-making process with its other suppliers. Pizza Hut eventually breached the contract by failing to buy the agreed upon number of sausages from Petitioner and by sharing Petitioner’s trade secrets with a supplier, IBP, with whom Petitioner had not signed a confidentiality or licensing agreement. Petitioner sued Pizza Hut and settled out of court. Petitioner claimed the settlement income as a capital gain, arguing that the underlying origin of the settlement was the sale of a trade secret, a capital asset which is traditionally subject to capital gains treatment. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue found that the settlement proceeds were ordinary income.
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