Allergan’s IS a Botox Smile; or, No Mirth for Merz
Allergan, the maker of the first botulinium toxin cosmetic product (better known as Botox) is smiling today because it won a trade secret misappropriation trial against competitor Merz Pharmaceutical. Merz markets Xeomin, another botulinium toxin product that until recently was authorized only for muscle cramps.
Allergan sued for trade secret misappropriation after Merz poached Allergan’s botox sales teams. Federal Judge Andrew Guilford of the Central District of California found the sales teams helped themselves to large doses of confidential sales information before blowing off Allergan. For all the advanced chemistry and biology involved, apparently the trade secrets misappropriated were garden variety (albeit vital) sales and customer information.
Judge Guilford’s full ruling and terms of the injunction are due on Friday, March 9th; we will provide a link here when it becomes available.
A hearty huzzah, though, for Merz’ counsel, Rick McKnight, who tried to make the best of a bad result: he is quoted as saying that he thinks the judge’s ruling after trial is a way of “encouraging settlement.”