United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ALFASIGMA USA, INC.
EBM MEDICAL, LLC, ET. AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
the Court is Defendants EBM Medical, LLC (“Defendant
EBM”) and Food For Health International, LLC's
(“Defendant FFH”) (collectively, the
“Corporate Defendants”), “Motion to
Dismiss” (Rec. Doc. 22), Plaintiff Alfasigma USA's
Response in Opposition (Rec. Doc. 29), and the Corporate
Defendants' “Motion for Leave to File Reply in
Excess of page Limitation” (Rec. Doc. 30). For the
reasons discussed below, IT IS ORDERED that
Corporate Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Reply
(Rec. Doc. 30) is GRANTED;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Corporate Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss (Rec. Doc. 22) is DENIED as to
Counts I, II, IV, V, and VI, and GRANTED as to Count
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Alfasigma USA, LLC (“Alfasigma”) is a
pharmaceutical company that manufactures and sells
physician-prescribed medical foods. Rec. Doc. 1. Relevant
here are three of Alfasigma's medical foods:
CerefolinNAC, Deplin, and Metnax (the “Alfasigma
Products”). Id. at 2. Alfasigma markets the
Alfasigma Products directly to physicians who then prescribe
the Alfasigma Products to their patients. Rec. Doc. 1 at 9.
defendants in this case are two corporations, EBM Medical and
Food For Health (the “Corporate Defendants”), and
seven individuals. Rec. Docs. 1 and 22. Defendant EBM
Medical (“Defendant EBM”) is a Missouri based
start-up, founded in 2016. Rec. Doc. 22-1 at 2. Defendant EBM
markets, promotes, and sells medical products to health care
providers, including medical foods: EB-C3, EB-P1, EB-N3 and
EB-N5 (the “Defendant Products”). Rec. Docs. 1
and 22-1. In particular, the Complaint alleges that Defendant
Heard co-founded EBM Medical shortly after leaving his
position as Director of Marketing for Alfasigma in April
2016. Rec. Doc. 1 at 10.
Corporate Defendant EBM pays Corporate Defendant FFH to
manufacture and distribute the Defendant Products to various
healthcare providers. Rec. Doc. 22-1 at 2.
alleges that Defendant Products are “knock-off”
versions of Alfasigma's Products using Alfasigma's
proprietary and confidential information. Rec. Doc. 1 at 2.
Specifically, Alfasigma alleges that Defendant Product EB-C3
is a “purported equivalent” of Alfasigma Product
CerefolinNAC, EB-P1 is an alleged equivalent of Deplin, and
that EB-N3 and EB-N5 are purported equivalents of Metnax.
Rec. Doc. 1 at 3. Alfasigma further alleges that the
Corporate Defendants used Alfasigma's confidential
customer lists in order to market the Defendant Products to
Alfasigma's physician customers. See generally,
Rec. Doc. 1.
August 11, 2017, Alfasigma filed an eight-count Complaint
(Rec. Doc. 1) against Defendants, alleging the following:
Count I) misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of
the 18 U.S.C. § 1836 (the Defend Trade Secrets Act or
“DTSA”); Count II) misappropriation of trade
secrets in violation of LS § 51:1431 (the Louisiana
Uniform Trade Secrets Act or “LUTSA”); Count III)
breach of contract; Count IV) false advertising in violation
of the Lanham Act; Count V) unfair competition in violation
of the Lanham Act; Count VI) violation of the Louisiana
Unfair Trade Practices Act; Count VII) Louisiana Civil Code,
Article 2315; and Count VIII) tortious interference. The
instant motion to dismiss was filed by the Corporate
Defendants and seeks to dismiss Counts I, II, IV, V, VI, and
VIII. Rec. Doc. 22.
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a
party to move for dismissal of a complaint for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Such a motion
is rarely granted because it is viewed with disfavor. See
Lowrey v. Tex. A & M Univ. Sys., 117 F.3d 242, 247
(5th Cir. 1997).
reviewing a motion to dismiss, courts must accept all
well-pleaded facts as true and view them in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Baker v. Putnal,
75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). However, “[f]actual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Gonzales v.
Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009)(quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949
(2009))(internal quotation marks omitted). The Supreme Court
in Iqbal explained that Twombly promulgated
a “two-pronged approach” to determine whether a
complaint states a plausible claim for relief.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950. First, courts must
identify those pleadings that, “because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Id. Legal conclusions “must be
supported by factual allegations.” Id.
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. at 1949.
identifying the well-pleaded factual allegations, courts
“assume their veracity and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement of relief.”
Id. at 1950. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 1949. This
is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Id. The plaintiffs must “nudge
their claims across the line from conceivable to
plausible.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
I & II: Misappropriation of Trade Secrets under ...