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Human Longevity sues ex-CEO over alleged theft of trade secrets

Documents filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California detail a long list of complaints against the former CEO of Human Longevity. The company alleges that the ex-CEO, who also runs the J. Craig Venter Institute, took a laptop computer from the company that contained trade secrets upon his dismissal from Human Longevity.

The lawsuit describes troubling allegations prior to his dismissal. Human Longevity claims that he withheld information from investors and appointed an interim president without consulting the board. He stands accused of collecting propriety information from his company laptop and using it to ask investors to switch their investments from Human Longevity to the J. Craig Venter Institute. Human Longevity insists that the defendant intends to use stolen information to develop products to compete with it.

Court filings assert that the ex-CEO attempted to lure important employees away from Human Longevity as well and attract new financing deals with stolen trade secrets that could result in profitable products. The plaintiff wants a jury trial, damages and the return of trade secrets. A statement from the J. Craig Venter Institute denied wrongdoing. The institute intends to fight the allegations in court.

When disagreements emerge between companies or executives within a company, the insights of an attorney might reveal how to pursue a settlement. An attorney familiar with business litigation may examine contracts and confidentiality agreements to determine if a breach of contract occurred. In cases regarding stolen trade secrets or patents, an attorney may be able to organize documentation that describes ownership of the intellectual property. These services might help prepare a company to go to court and address corporate disputes or unfair competition.

Source: Genome Web, "Human Longevity Sues J. Craig Venter Institute, Alleging Venter Took Trade Secrets", July 23, 2018

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