Bonumose Biochem LLC v. Zheng

In this trade-secrets case, the parties were involved with the scientific and commercial development of an artificial sugar called tagatose. In May 2017, the plaintiff sued for betrayal of trade secrets and breach of contract in the form of alleged siphoning of information about tagatose to a foreign entity. The United States later indicted the defendant for grant fraud related to the product.

The defendants have now filed an amended countercomplaint with three “counterclaims” that the plaintiff moves to dismiss and strike. Despite a clear prior ruling, the defendants consciously chose to proceed in the very same manner the court previously rejected: Plead first, and argue about the propriety of adding parties later. In addition to ignoring the court’s prior ruling that such a motion must be submitted before filing a pleading that joins non-parties, this approach flaunts the standing rules of this district and presses the boundaries of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b), wasting valuable time and resources and indicating a lack of respect for the court and opposing counsel.

The defendants’ reverse veil-piercing counterclaim consists mainly of repetitive, conclusory allegations of the type of that courts do not hesitate to dismiss in considering veil-piercing theories.

The plaintiff’s motions to dismiss and strike will be granted in part, with one counterclaim surviving.

Bonumose Biochem LLC v. Zheng, No. 3:17cv33, Dec. 11, 2018. WDVA at Charlottesville (Moon).

Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Western District of Virginia

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