Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego Case No. 37-2015-00022453-CU-BT-CTL
Trade Secrets Misappropriation | Technology: Gellan Gums (Food Additives)
The Plaintiff is a major innovator and producer of hydrocolloids for use in food & beverage and personal care products. In particular, the Plaintiff’s product Gellan Gum is used in many beverages and produced through a complex bioindustrial fermentation process using highly controlled conditions, including proprietary and valuable materials and technology that are protected as trade secrets. The Defendant was previously employed for 14 years by the Plaintiff as a food applications scientist, focused on beverages. Plaintiff alleges that the defendant downloaded files containing confidential and proprietary process information, including raw material specifications containing step-by-step instructions to make a range of proprietary formulations of Gellan Gum, Xanthan Gum, and Rhamsan Gum; and documents related to marketing and sales strategies. Mr. Lewis testified on behalf of the defendant on a matter related to financial damages resulting from the alleged misappropriations of trade secrets.
Although the defendant lost on liability and was subject to pay damages related to unjust enrichment, the jury only awarded damages matching Mr. Lewis’ opinion which was less than 3% of the opposing expert’s position.