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K&L Gates Leads Novozymes to Trade Secrets Trial Victory

29 January 2024

Global law firm K&L Gates successfully represented Novozymes North America, Inc. through trial in a trade secrets case against Marquis ProCap System, LLC. Novozymes is a North Carolina-based maker of enzymes and supplies its products to many corn ethanol and animal feed producers across the United States. 

The team previously won partial summary judgment for Novozymes dismissing Marquis’ claim for damages, and dismissal of Marquis’ claim for a jury trial. These previous decisions led to a bench trial before the Central District of Illinois court regarding Marquis’ claim for a permanent injunction based on alleged trade secret misappropriation and breach of a non-disclosure agreement.

Following a trial in August and September, and extensive post-trial briefing, the court’s final decision in December 2023 denied Marquis’ claim for a permanent injunction, finding that two of Marquis’ three alleged trade secrets in its high protein animal feed production process were not kept secret and the third was not specific enough to be protected. The court also ruled that Novozymes did not disclose or threaten to disclose any of the alleged trade secrets or proprietary information.

The K&L Gates trial team for Novozymes was led by Boston partner John Cotter, with support from Boston partner Chris Centurelli and Boston associates John Gavin and Anna L’Hommedieu. Additional assistance was provided by Boston partner Eric Lee and Chicago partner Joe Wylie. Raleigh of counsel Alan Peterson also provided guidance on the matter.

K&L Gates’ IP practice boasts more than 250 lawyers and professionals – including more than 100 registered patent lawyers, agents, and technology specialists with technical or advanced science degrees, nearly 30 with doctorates – who devote their practices to helping clients establish, enforce, and leverage their intellectual property rights worldwide.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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