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Tort claims of trade secret theft, fraud, unfair competition, tortious interference with contract, and civil conspiracy can fall within the scope of an overly broad arbitration clause. Medversant Technologies, LLC v Leverage Health Solutions, LLC, et al., 114 F. Supp. 3d 290 (E.D. Pa. 2015). In this case, the district court looked “not to the labels or legal theories attached to the claims,” but rather “focused on the factual underpinnings of the claim” when assessing whether these claims fell within the scope of the arbitration clause of a business development and marketing consulting agreement.  Id. (citing CardioNet, Inc. v. Cigna Health Corp., 751 F.3d 165 , 173 (3d Cir.2014)).

In this case, the plaintiff (“Medversant”) hired the defendant (“Leverage”) to provide
Continue Reading Beware of a Broad Arbitration Clause

Late last month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced the indictments of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) scientists Yu Xue and Lucy Xi, as well as three of their associates for trade secrets theft, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit both crimes. The indictment accuses the scientists of transmitting proprietary GSK data to their associates and co-conspirators at a Chinese startup called Renopharma, a firm that focuses on providing products and services to support drug discovery programs.

The allegedly misappropriated data relates to research into monoclonal antibody treatment for cancer which, if brought to market, “should represent [a] ‘bio-better and bio-superior’ system in comparison to existing competitors,” according to GSK documents cited in the indictment. The government alleges that Ms. Xue, Ms. Xi, and their associates hoped to profit from the data by virtue of their ownership interests in Renopharma. Ms. Xue is quoted in the indictment via email, stating that she “ha[s] absolute control of [the] company” with ownership of “the highest stock share which is 30%.”

The charges against Ms. Xue and Ms. Xi come on the heels of an earlier high profile case investigated by the same FBI agent and brought by the same Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office against a Chinese naturalized American. In that case, the U.S. Attorney charged Dr. Xi Xiaoxing
Continue Reading Chinese Scientists Accused of Trade Secret Theft in Recent DOJ Indictment

The International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) excluding imported crawler cranes from Chinese manufacturer Sany Heavy Industry Co that were designed and manufactured using the misappropriated trade secrets and patented inventions of Manitowoc Cranes. The Commission’s final determination in the In Re Certain Crawler Cranes and Components Thereof investigation (Inv. No. 337-TA-887) confirms that the ITC is a favorable forum in the fight against foreign intellectual property theft, especially in cases where jurisdiction may be difficult to establish in U.S. Courts.

The ITC issued its Final Determination affirming, in part, Administrative Law Judge Shaw’s Final Initial Determination that Chinese heavy machinery manufacturing company Sany Heavy Industry Co. had misappropriated Manitowoc Cranes trade secrets in developing its products, infringed on two of Maitowoc’s patents, and harmed the U.S. domestic crawler crane industry. The ITC determined that at least one product infringed certain claims of one of Manitowoc’s patents and that six trade secrets of Manitowac’s were protectable as trade secrets and misappropriated. Continue Reading ITC Excludes Chinese Company for 10-Years for Trade Secrets Misappropriation

The Federal Circuit has recently confirmed that the International Trade Commission has jurisdiction over trade secret misappropriation, even if the predicate acts of misappropriation occur entirely outside of the United States. The decision, TianRui Group Co. v. International Trade Commission, 661F.3d 1322 (Fed. Cir. 2011), suggests that the ITC can play a very important