Monday, 1 June 2009

Very Much Ado

Crispy crisps
In the New York Times: The Lord Justice Hath Ruled - Pringles Are Potato Chips.

Now that is the kind of headlines I would love to see more.

I wonder if the writer (One Adam Cohen) enjoyed fleshing out the details as I did reading them.

A gist: There was apparently a legal battle on the status of Procter & Gamble popular Pringles as to whether they are categorically potato chips.

In the UK, potato chips (or crisps) are taxable.

P&G’s argument is that since Pringles are essentially potato flour, corn, rice and wheat (and here I thought it was all potato, sodium and what vaguely resembles taste), it’s therefore NOT potato chips.

The British Appellate Court, as it turns out, accepted this argument, declaring: Pringles is, shall we say, potato chips Lite.

(Anyone thinking of getting their hands on the judgment should reconsider especially since Mr Cohen himself said that it’s “a convoluted opinion that considered four interpretations of the law before ultimately rejecting three of them.”)

The Supreme Court pooh poohed the Lower Court's findings, deciding instead that “it’s a matter of overall impression.”

Good one, that.

Bad one for P&G, though, as the decision meant they owe back taxes of some US$160 million.

Off and on, we do get our fair share of “interesting” headlines here back home in the legal culinary sort, but they are hardly those which require our Justices to crack their brains on.

Thanks to the above decision, I will take note in the mountains of documentations that had gone into deciding Pringles are in fact potato chips every time I take a sinful bite of such crispy delights.

(Wonder how much fun the lawyers had - and the money made - in battling a case this significant...)

Had the case still in adjudication I may well be committing Sub Judice for saying “crispy”.

Legalese. Just love ‘em.

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