Lilly Trade Secrets Case Dismissed for Lack of Evidence, Chinese-born Employees Released

December 17, 2014 – In The News
BioWorld Asia

Alain Leibman was quoted in the BioWorld Asia article, “Lilly Trade Secrets Case Dismissed for Lack of Evidence, Chinese-born Employees Released.” Full text can be found in the December 17, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

The U.S. attorney’s office requested a federal judge to dismiss criminal charges against two former Eli Lilly and Co. employees.

In October 2013, Guoqing Cao and Shu Li were indicted on seven counts of theft and conspiracy to commit theft after having allegedly emailed sensitive information regarding experimental drug programs to a former Lilly employee and a different company.

According to Cao’s defense attorney, Alain Leibman, the case began to crumble when it became apparent the information reportedly shared by Cao was already publically available and therefore, could not be a trade secret.

“At each opportunity, I pounded home the point that the government had gotten bad science from Lilly and it had failed to conduct the most basic investigation of public record science,” Leibman noted.

Leibman also explained that the scientific email exchange and resume that were at the center of allegations “were poor choices as the basis for a prosecution, since in neither instance there was any disclosure of any particular drug molecule being developed at Lilly, any internal process, protocol or experiment under way at Lilly; or anything beyond the publicly known identity of molecular targets being worked on simultaneously across the pharmaceutical industry at those times.”