Synthes sues Stryker over confidential information acquired from former employees

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Synthes division sues Stryker over secrets, hiring (Detroit Free Press)

A division of Synthes, the world’s largest maker of bone-related medical devices, has sued Stryker, accusing the Kalamazoo-based firm of raiding its San Francisco sales force and using confidential information from former employees.

Stryker seeks to obtain “an improper competitive advantage” in the industry for medical implants and instruments used in spinal surgery, Synthes USA Sales said in the complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in Philadelphia.

Synthes also accused three former sales employees of misappropriating trade secrets and breaching their contractual and fiduciary obligations to the company.

The former employees resigned from Synthes between August and early October, according to the complaint.

They immediately began working for Stryker, one of the company’s direct competitors, and are soliciting former customers, according to the court filing.

Representatives of Stryker didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and phone message at the company headquarters seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy Synthes, based in West Chester, Pa., in April for $21.3 billion to become the leader in the $5.5-billion market for devices to treat trauma victims

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