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Massachusetts Court Passes on New England Biolabs' Lawsuit Alleging IP Theft; Company to Appeal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Following a Massachusetts court's decision not to rule on the merits of a case involving the alleged theft of intellectual property, New England Biolabs said on Wednesday that it plans to appeal the decision.

In 2011, NEB sued Enzymatics and three former NEB employees accusing them of stealing proprietary information "of significant scientific and commercial value" from NEB and using that information to form Enzymatics.

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Superior Court decided not to rule on the matter of the alleged theft, and instead "set aside NEB's claims because of a disputable technicality based on the timing of when the suit was filed," NEB CEO James Ellard said in a statement.

The company, he added, filed its lawsuit "immediately" after learning about the alleged theft.

"This ruling, in our judgment, resolves nothing. It does not exonerate the defendants who stole trade secrets. It only delays resolution of this matter until an appeals court can review the case," Ellard said. "Consequently, NEB intends to appeal the court's decision, confident that a higher court will acknowledge that the defendants should not be rewarded for successfully concealing their theft of company assets. They remain culpable."

In a statement to GenomeWeb Daily News, Enzymatics President and CEO Jon DiVincenzo said that his firm has consistently denied any wrongdoing and "had the case continued beyond this stage, Enzymatics was prepared to defend itself on the merits and demonstrate that none of the defendants committed any wrongdoing. Enzymatics is confident that the Superior Court’s well-reasoned and thorough opinion will be upheld if NEB chooses to appeal."

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