A federal court in California has dismissed with prejudice claims that a biotech company filed against its former counsel alleging that the law firm had provided confidential information about the company’s patent applications to another client. Tethys Bioscience, Inc. v. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C., No. 09-05115 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., Oakland Div., decided April 15, 2011). The order was entered on the parties’ stipulated dismissal.
The patent apparently involved the identification of biological markers for diabetes, and the plaintiff asserted that the similarities between its October 2006 patent application and a nearly identical application the law firm filed on the other client’s behalf in March 2007 showed that improper disclosure had occurred.
Prior court orders apparently narrowed the case by dismissing a conversion claim but allowing the plaintiff to proceed with a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. In late 2009, the court reportedly granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, but gave the plaintiff the opportunity to amend the complaint. No additional details about the settlement are available. See Law360, April 15, 2011.