Press Release September 10, 2019

Goodwin Wins Complex, 11-Year Trade Secret Case on Behalf of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

The Trade Secrets + Restrictive Covenants practice won a complex intellectual property dispute on behalf of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP), a public higher education and research institution in West Bengal, India. After 11 years of litigation, the United States District Court of the Northern District of California definitively rejected M.A. Mobile’s claims that IITKGP breached an oral joint venture agreement, breached a nondisclosure agreement, and misappropriated M.A. Mobile’s trade secrets. Neel Chatterjee, a partner in the Intellectual Property litigation group at Goodwin, has led the case since it was first filed in 2007.

The dispute centered on an alleged collaboration between IITKGP and M.A. Mobile, a Dominica-based company, to develop a technology that would permit applications to function on handheld devices without an internet connection.

For the breach of joint venture agreement claim, Goodwin demonstrated that M.A. Mobile could not prove that IITKGP entered into a joint venture. As to the trade secret and breach of confidentiality agreement claims, Goodwin successfully demonstrated that there was no evidence that anything confidential was ever shared with any third party. The court’s ruling ended over 11 years of litigation between M.A. Mobile, its founder, and numerous defendants.

“The court was critical of many of M.A. Mobile’s arguments and the absence of evidence to support M.A. Mobile’s claims. When M.A. Mobile made last minute efforts to address the Court’s skepticism about the case, the court rejected those efforts too,” said Chatterjee. “We are thrilled that the court found in favor of IITKGP.”

Goodwin has one of the most comprehensive, technology-focused trade secret and employee mobility practices in the nation. The team is comprised of intellectual property, employment law, privacy and cybersecurity and business litigation specialists. Goodwin has advised and represented hundreds of cutting-edge companies, entrepreneurs, investors and startup founders facing these critical issues and disputes in innovation hubs around the world. As a result, the firm has extensive experience representing former employers, current employers and individual employees in trade secret and employee mobility matters.