Nicolo v. Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, LLP, is a suit brought by an inventor-patentee who claims that a Patterson attorney met with him under the guise of seeking to represent him in a suit against third-parties, while the real purpose was to obtain information for its client, Ethicon. The judge recently denied the defendants’ 12(b)(6) motion, reasoning that Pennsylvania law protects against mere acquisition of trade secrets through improper means (subsequent use/disclosure need not be alleged, in other words). The opinion doing so is here.
In addition to the obvious lessons, at the Emory conference I mentioned, one of the panelists asked how often large corporations take advantage of solo inventors. If the allegations here are true, this could be one such example. “Troll” is a word that might have been applied to the inventor had he sued Ethicon, in other words.