Abbott Laboratories has sued a former employee for trademark infringement and theft of trade secrets, accusing him of selling other manufacturers’ COVID-19 tests on behalf of Abbott.
Attorneys for Abbott filed the complaint on Tuesday, seeking a preliminary injunction against Justin Brown as well as monetary damages. Abbott said it fired Brown from his sales job with its rapid diagnostics unit in April for allegedly falsifying expense reports. Two days later, Brown created a fake email account — “firstname.lastname@example.org” — so he could pretend he still worked for the company, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Brown also allegedly refused to return his company laptop and confidential files, giving him access to his old emails with Abbott’s customers, Abbott claims. He then used the new email address to contact customers, including a Johns Hopkins doctor with whom Brown worked for weeks under the false assumption that Brown was working with Abbott, the complaint says.
The company claims that Brown duped several Abbott customers, including Avent Health, HealthTrust, Hy-Vee, Johns Hopkins Medicine, LabCorp Employer Services, and Stat Technologies.
“The Court should enjoin Brown’s deceitful actions now, which are irreparably harming Abbott by undermining the goodwill in its brand and its relationship with customers during a pandemic when Abbott’s reputation is critical,” Abbott said in the complaint.
No attorney for Brown was listed in court documents.