Wilentz Client GenScript Awarded $10 Million in Trade Secrets Case Against Genewiz

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A jury awarded Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. client for theft of its secret process used to create artificial DNA.

GenScript USA, Inc.

GenScript USA, Inc.

While the trial was long and hard fought, I applaud the jury for recognizing that GenScript’s methods to synthesize genes are trade secrets that provide it with a competitive advantage.

On behalf of biotech client GenScript USA, Inc. and its affiliated companies, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. (Wilentz) secured a significant jury verdict in a trade secrets lawsuit against Genewiz Inc. in excess of $10 million. The jury determined that Genewiz illegally obtained and utilized GenScript’s trade secrets, and that it improperly hired one or more of GenScript’s employees. The court entered an order denying motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, a new trial, and remittitur.

The case rested on allegations that the defendants stole confidential procedures GenScript developed for gene synthesis. A critical–and potentially life-saving–tool in DNA technology, gene synthesis has been a foundation of GenScript’s business for many years, leading to its recognition as a worldwide leader in the industry. The technologies have revolutionized scientific research in areas such as vaccine and other pharmaceutical development and the production of sustainable biofuels.

“This important victory for GenScript sends a strong reminder that there are rules for fair competition and they will be enforced. Companies like GenScript that take precautions to protect their trade secrets have a remedy if and when employees or competitors illegally threaten their business,” remarked Willard Shih of Wilentz, who led the firm’s trial team. “The jury grasped the central issue,” Shih added, “which is that trade secrets are some of the most critical corporate assets that the law protects.”

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case,” GenScript’s Chairman of the Board and CEO Frank Zhang stated. “While the trial was long and hard fought, I applaud the jury for recognizing that GenScript’s methods to synthesize genes are trade secrets that provide it with a competitive advantage.”

The case GenScript USA, Inc. et al. v. Genewiz Inc. and Ping Yang (Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Law Division, Docket No. MID-L-6640-11 and MID-L-1739-13 (consolidated), began in 2011. Testimony was taken in two continents, culminating with a six-week trial presided over by the Honorable Arthur Bergman.

About Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.
Established in 1919, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. combines the talents of 120 attorneys, serving the needs of prominent corporate and not-for-profit institutions. The firm’s litigation team has been at the forefront of numerous landmark cases and precedent-setting decisions. Wilentz maintains offices in in Woodbridge and Eatontown, N J, New York City, and Philadelphia. For more information about the firm, visit http://www.wilentz.com.

About GenScript USA
Based in Piscataway, New Jersey, Genscript is a leading gene, peptide, protein and antibody research partner for fundamental life science research, translational biomedical research, and early stage pharmaceutical development. Since its establishment in 2002, GenScript has grown into a global Contract Research Organization that provides services and products to scientists in 86 countries worldwide. The company has built a best-in-class capacity and capability for biological research services encompassing gene synthesis and molecular biology, peptide synthesis, custom antibodies, protein expression, antibody and protein engineering, and in vitro and in vivo pharmacology. For more information, see http://www.genscript.com.

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Lisa McDonald
@WilentzLaw
since: 08/2010
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