Shapiro Arato Bach Wins Second Circuit Appeal in Trade Secrets Case

On December 11, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court decision ordering dismissal of all claims against our client Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and all other defendants.  Plaintiffs had undertaken to plead 14 separate causes of action for trade secret misappropriation and related claims, relating to various discoveries concerning the encoding and decoding of DNA.  In a Complaint spanning nearly 150 pages, they alleged a decades long scheme to hide the alleged misappropriation and steal their ideas.  The district court dismissed the claims on multiple grounds, including that they were time barred under applicable statutes of limitations and failed to state claims under RICO or the Defend Trade Secrets Act.  It found that in two prior public proceedings, Cornell University, the assignee of numerous patents discussed in the Complaint, raised similar claims, which “put the plaintiffs in this case on inquiry, if not actual notice.” The Second Circuit affirmed.

Partner Jonathan Bach argued the appeal and also represented Thermo Fisher Scientific in the proceedings before the district court.

The Second Circuit’s decision in Zirvi v. Flatley can be found here.

The audio of the oral argument is below.