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19 November 2020Big PharmaMuireann Bolger

Siemens sues ex-VP for stealing heart catheter trade secrets

A subsidiary of Siemens AG has accused a former vice president of stealing trade secrets related to heart catheter devices to assist his new employer, NuVera Medical, in developing a rival product.

In the complaint, filed on November 17 at the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, Siemens Healthineers, claimed that Anthony Medigo breached a confidentiality agreement he signed with the company.

In its filing, Siemens Healthineers outlined that it had developed a catheter that provided “real-time, three-dimensional imaging for use in valve repair and valve replacement procedures”, which unlike previous devices, did not require anaesthesia—making them “safer and more efficient”.

This led to the launch of its first ‘3D/4D ICE Catheter’ in 2012, known as the AcuNav V followed by the AcuNav Volume ICE Catheter in 2018, the company said.

According to Siemens Healthineers, the development of the AcuNav Volume ICE Catheter alone cost approximately $18 million, while the market for the device is estimated to grow to approximately $800 million a year by 2030. Siemens Healthineers further claimed that it holds a 100% market share for these devices.

According to the company, Medigo joined Siemens Healthineers in 2016 and was promoted to the position of global vice president—intracardiac catheter business three years later. It added that before accepting his promotion, Medigo signed a “senior management restrictive covenants, confidentiality and intellectual property assignment agreement”.

During his employment, Medigo developed and acquired detailed knowledge of all aspects of its business concerning the AcuNav Volume ICE Catheter, Siemens said.

In March 2020, Siemens issued a temporary recall of its catheters, which resulted in Siemen’s decision to reduce staff, including Medigo.

As part of his severance package, Medigo was paid $405,000 and reaffirmed the confidentiality agreement he had signed, the complaint said.

In September, Medigo started a new role as chief commercial officer for NuVera, a California-based company in the process of developing a catheter product, said the filing.

Siemens Healtineers held that Medigo had violated the conditions of his confidentiality agreement by failing to provide his former employer “with twenty days advance notice, or with any notice of the intended commencement of his employment”. It added that Medigo did “not offer information about his new or prospective position” to enable Siemens Healthineers to verify whether his new position would violate the provisions of the confidentiality agreement.

The filing said: “Medigo's employment at NuVera places him in a position where he will be expected to, and will provide assistance to NuVera in connection with Siemens Healthineers, and in particular its AcuNav Volume ICE Catheter, with which NuVera's product will compete directly," the company said.

Siemens Healthineers brought a total of eight claims against Medigo, including breach of contract, unjust enrichment, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty.

Additionally, the company is seeking an injunction barring Medigo from employment with NuVera until next July, and from disseminating or using Siemens' trade secrets, alongside damages.

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More on this story

Americas
3 September 2018   A former GSK researcher has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal trade secrets, in what prosecutors said was a scheme to benefit a Chinese pharmaceutical company.
Europe
21 November 2018   The EU General Court has upheld a decision to deny Japanese medical device producer Asahi Intecc a trademark for a line of catheters it produces.
Americas
3 December 2020   A medical technology subsidiary of Siemens has settled a lawsuit against a former vice president, who it accused of stealing trade secrets related to heart catheter devices.

More on this story

Americas
3 December 2020   A medical technology subsidiary of Siemens has settled a lawsuit against a former vice president, who it accused of stealing trade secrets related to heart catheter devices.
Europe
21 November 2018   The EU General Court has upheld a decision to deny Japanese medical device producer Asahi Intecc a trademark for a line of catheters it produces.
Americas
3 September 2018   A former GSK researcher has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal trade secrets, in what prosecutors said was a scheme to benefit a Chinese pharmaceutical company.

More on this story

Americas
3 December 2020   A medical technology subsidiary of Siemens has settled a lawsuit against a former vice president, who it accused of stealing trade secrets related to heart catheter devices.
Europe
21 November 2018   The EU General Court has upheld a decision to deny Japanese medical device producer Asahi Intecc a trademark for a line of catheters it produces.
Americas
3 September 2018   A former GSK researcher has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal trade secrets, in what prosecutors said was a scheme to benefit a Chinese pharmaceutical company.