BD sues Cytek over alleged stolen trade secrets

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Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) this week filed a suit against Cytek Biosciences, claiming the company stole trade secret information after hiring away a number of its former employees.

The company claims that Cytek, which used to service its flow cytometers, began producing its own such devices based off knowledge it gained from former BD employees it hired.

A total of 10 employees are named in the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, including scientists, engineers and business people, according to court documents.

“When they left BD to work for Cytek and thereafter, those employees, upon information and belief, improperly retained and misused BD’s valuable, highly confidential, proprietary information, including thousands of confidential and valuable technical files that they had downloaded from BD’s computer systems onto removable storage media while employed by BD,” the company wrote in court documents.

Becton Dickinson said it attempted to recover the devices and files, including reaching out to Cytek for them, but that it has not been able to recover the majority of them, according to court documents.

The Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based company goes on to accuse the former employees of having “improperly downloaded, removed, and failed to return thousands of files with BD’s valuable, highly confidential, proprietary information before departing to Cytek,” which it claims the company used to create substantially similar products.

BD is seeking judicial intervention to hold the company and the individuals who left responsible for the theft, and to prevent any continued development of products it alleges are based off its protected, proprietary information.

Yesterday, Becton Dickinson said it closed the divestiture of its soft tissue core needle biopsy line and Aspira product line to Merit Medical (NSDQ:MMSI) for $100 million.

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