Federal Prison Inmate Suing Taco Bell For Stealing His Doritos Idea

A little more than a year ago, Taco Bell created shells out of Doritos Chips. This was a milestone in their endless quest to invent unexpected combinations of melted cheese, mystery meat, crunchy shell, and the most wilted lettuce to grace this green earth. Taco Bell titled this creation "Doritos Locos Tacos."

Loco is right. Now, a resident of the highly secure federal prison in Florence, Colorado claims that he was the first to conceive of this idea. Gary Cole filed a federal lawsuit yesterday in Dallas, saying that Taco Bell, along with Pepsi and parent company Yum Brands, thieved his idea. Cole is currently residing at the penitentiary because he delayed interstate commerce and carried "a firearm in relation to a crime of violence." He will represent himself in the case.

Cole cites a notarized document that he mailed to his lawyer in 2006, which lists nine of Cole's inventions. They include body oils, alcohol, something called "Divas and Ballers" brand hot sauce. In the second spot is "Tacos shells of all flavors (made of Doritos)".

The inventor is doing his due diligence to see that the truth comes to light on this issue. He said his idea was mostly likely stolen via mail—and claims that "a check was made out to a person for a large amount by Taco Bell, Frito Lay, and Pepsi Co. Inc. for an idea or invention that was submitted to them by theft and fraud." He sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Taco Bell, asking to be sent all the documents related to the invention of the Doritos Locos Tacos. He has written to the FBI and the IRS.

In mildly related news, Taco Bell just announced that there's a waffle taco in the works, in case anyone has that written down in a dream-food-combo list.

[Dallas Observer, image via Flickr/Scoobie1993]