Monday, December 13, 2021

Pfizer and ex-employee reach settlement agreement in documents case

Via FiercePharma, the ongoing sage of a former Pfizer employee who grabbed a bunch of documents on the way out the door: 

A now-former Pfizer employee is playing nice after the drugmaker sued her in November alleging the 15-year veteran uploaded more than 12,000 sensitive files—including documents on the company's wildly successful COVID-19 vaccine—to personal devices and a Google Drive account. 

The defendant, Chun Xiao Li, agreed to let Pfizer's lawyers search her personal emails, Google drive accounts and all other personal computing devices or accounts that could contain confidential information or trade secrets by Dec. 6, court documents filed Monday show. 

Pfizer aims to complete its search by Dec. 29, at which point it will return Li's devices and accounts. By that same day, Li must send Pfizer a sworn declaration that she's cooperated with the investigation to the best of her ability and that she no longer possesses any proprietary information or trade secrets. Li also must swear that she's offered up all accounts and devices that could have been used to store or transfer the company's information, as well as the identities of the people, if any, who might have received that info.  

By January 5, the parties will let the court know whether any additional action needs to be taken, the filing says.

Pfizer's lawsuit, filed in San Diego federal court late last month, focuses on the company's BioNTech-partnered COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, as well as two monoclonal antibodies for cancer. The suit accuses Li of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and more. 

One of the interesting things to think about is What Pfizer Actually Can Get from Ms. Li. I don't imagine that she has very much money that Pfizer could reasonably receive from her, and I imagine that her future employer has plenty of plausible deniability in the case that they actually did ask her (I can't imagine that they did) to provide Pfizer documents. 

I also imagine that Pfizer also filed this lawsuit to point out to all of its employees that taking maps off the boat isn't something that you did unless you wanted to spend time in federal court. 

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20