Smith & Nephew: Employees conspired to steal trade secrets, start new company

Smith & Nephew is suing nine former employees for allegedly conspiring to misappropriate company trade secrets developed for its human knee replacement business, the Memphis Daily News reports. S&N is seeking $20 million in damages, plus damages from individual employees.

In a complaint filed in the Shelby County Chancery Court in Memphis, TN, S&N included an affidavit from an employee who said the entire team working on the company's Visionaire product "had been planning to stage a mass resignation and start a new company." The group was also allegedly planning to use confidential information to offer consulting services to S&N and eventually to its competitors.

"We have taken this legal action in order to prevent further attempts to steal intellectual property and to ensure they cannot use Smith & Nephew confidential information for personal benefit," the company says in a statement. "The former employees consisted of eight engineers and an operations manager who worked together on a project at our Brooks Road facility. Despite their attempts, there has been no disruption in service to our physician customers or the patients they serve."

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