Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Teva Pharmaceuticals files trade secret theft claim

New Jersey business owners may be interested to learn that, on July 7, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA filed a lawsuit against a former executive who it said divulged trade secrets and other information of a confidential nature with her boyfriend. It alleged that the boyfriend is the president and CEO of Apotex Inc., a rival drug company.

The defendant was the senior director of regulatory affairs for generic medication sold in the U.S. when she downloaded confidential files onto her work-issued laptop. She then allegedly sent approximately 900 documents to her boyfriend through a cloud-based account. The company fired her in October 2016 after a former Apotex Inc. employee reported that the former executive and Apotex had discussed information on a competing drug that was at the time being developed by Teva.

In the lawsuit, Teva alleged that the former executive breached her confidentiality agreement by sharing the proprietary information with one of the company's largest competitors. The head of global corporate communications for Apotex Inc. said in a statement that company was reviewing the claims but denied that it acted improperly. Teva was seeking unspecified damages.

When employees share a company's trade secrets with others, the losses can be major especially if other companies use these secrets to compete. However, under applicable law, a company can seek to recover its actual losses in addition to other damages. An attorney who has experience in intellectual property litigation could determine the amount in losses the company sustained as a result of the misappropriation of its trade secrets.

Source:, "Sex, drugs, and sharing trade secrets", Linda Loyd, July 12, 2017

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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