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5 February 2016Americas

Agilent accuses Twist Bioscience CEO of stealing trade secrets

The chief executive of biotechnology Twist Bioscience has been accused of stealing trade secrets belonging to her former employer.

California-based semiconductor company Agilent filed the lawsuit against both Twist and its chief executive Emily LeProust on Wednesday, February 3, according to the  Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

LeProust founded Twist in 2013 after spending 13 years at Agilent.

According to the lawsuit, LeProust has been accused of using Agilent’s confidential information to develop a semiconductor-based technology used to manufacture genes.

Agilent also claimed LeProust recruited staff in order to obtain the company’s confidential information. The complaint was filed at the Santa Clara Superior Court.

Daniel Petrocelli, partner at law firm O’Melveny & Myers and representing Agilent, told the WSJ that LeProust’s action was part of a “highly orchestrated scheme to misappropriate Agilent’s intellectual property”.

Yesterday, February 4, LeProust rejected the claims.

“I deny all Agilent's claims and intend to vigorously defend against what we believe to be meritless claims,” she tweeted.

Twist also issued a statement on the allegations yesterday stating that Agilent’s claims are “baseless and without merit” and that it “intends to defend itself vigorously against them”.

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