Pen-makers sue Illinois man over trade secrets


FORT MADISON, Iowa – The nib of a pen _ the part that puts ink to paper
_ is at the center of lawsuit against a man whose former bosses want to
keep him from selling their secrets to a Chinese pen company.

Madison’s Sheaffer Manufacturing Co. and BIC Corp., are suing Ted B.
Sharpe, of La Harpe, Ill. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in U.S.
District Court in Davenport, seeks to keep Sharpe from selling the
century-old Iowa company’s proprietary information, mainly the
"Fountain Pen Manual."

The lawsuit said that Sharpe worked for
Sheaffer as a process engineer and supervisor in charge of fountain pen
nib manufacture and design from September 1974 to February 2003. That’s
when he was part of companywide layoffs, it said.

The pen
companies claim in the lawsuit that they learned Sharpe was going to
become a paid consultant for a Chinese manufacturer and provide
Sheaffer’s proprietary information to that company.

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[Image: Pendemonium]