The importance of corporate security and vigilance with regard to trade secrets was demonstrated by recent events in Syracuse, New York. On February 3, 2010, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Syracuse announced the arrest of 29 year-old Shalin Jhaveri. Jhaveri is charged in a complaint with stealing trade secrets, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1832, from his employer Bristol-Myers-Squibb, where he worked from November 2007 through February 2, 2010.
It is alleged that Jhaveri planned to establish a pharmaceutical firm in India which could compete with Bristol-Myers-Squibb in various markets around the world. Reportedly, some of the confidential information stolen included Bristol’s procedures in development to produce a multi-million dollar drug to treat malignant melanoma, a deadly form of cancer. Jhaveri allegedly downloaded over 45 gigabytes of information from Bristol. Bristol began tracking Jhaveri’s actions after finding suspicious documents on his work laptop, including an application to the government of India to start his own biopharmaceutical company.
It is critical in order to pursue claims against a disloyal employee that a Company maintain a strong confidentiality and trade secrets program. Proper policies and agreements should be in place for all employees, consultants and contractors. A routine "due diligence" trade secrets check-up should also be conducted in order to ensure safeguarding of Company information. Absent such steps, proprietary information will be in jeopardy.