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Former Director Sued by Maia Pharma Over Trade Secrets

Maia Pharma has filed a lawsuit against a former employee, Sasank Kunadharaju for alleged misappropriation of confidential business information.

Maia describes itself as a “specialty pharmaceutical company” and “develops products that are improvements over existing patent medications by addressing challenges in formulation and manufacturing processes.”

According to the suit, Kunaharaju joined Maia in Setpember 2020 as a Senior Director of Product Development. During his time as director, he developed a “deep understanding of the Company’s product development process” while having access to the company’s most confidential information. The suit also details that Kunaadharju signed two confidentiality agreements with Maia, one at the time of hire and one year after the hire.

Maia alleges that Kunadharaju advised on January 14 of his intention to resign effective February 4, 2022.  Maia further alleges that six days later it presented Kunadharaju “… with a normal course termination agreement, which — if executed — would have entitled him to receive a severance payment.”  According to Maia, “The draft agreement, among other things, included an affirmation of Defendant’s existing contractual non-disclosure, confidentiality, as well as non-competition, obligations to the Company.”

According to Maia, Kunadharaju refused to sign the agreement and said, “he preferred to be bound only by his existing confidentiality and non-competition agreements” which made Maia suspicious. When Maia conducted a forensic examination of Kunaadharaju’s laptop they found that Kunaadharaju had improperly downloaded approximately 30,000 files in the year he left Maia. Maia states 10,000 of those files were downloaded shortly before leaving the company.

The complaint alleges four causes of action: “Violation of [the federal] Defend Trade Secret Act”; Violation of New Jersey Uniform Trade Secrets Act”; “Breach of Confidentiality Agreements”; and “Breach of Fiduciary Duty.”  The last cause of action alleges that Kunadharaju breached his duty of loyalty as an officer and employee of Maia.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 14th, 2022 at 7:01 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.