Medical aesthetic devicemaker Cutera (NSDQ:CUTR) has filed a lawsuit claiming that Lutronic Aesthetics stole trade secrets, lured away employees and competed unfairly under California’s business and professions code.
Brisbane, Calif.-based Cutera is also suing certain former employees, alleging violations of their work agreements as well as violations of duties owed to the company under California law.
Cutera claims that Lutronic Aesthetics (Billerica, Mass.) abruptly hired away at least four of its 217 employees in January 2020, including its EVP of sales, who allegedly refused to protect Cutera’s trade secrets and to agree not to use them to solicit Cutera employees. All four left on the same day, allegedly taking their company-issued laptops with them, according to the lawsuit. Cutera also said it requires all employees to sign confidentiality agreements.
Cutera is seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunctions against Lutronic to keep it from:
- Using or disclosing Cutera’s trade secrets.
- Threatening or interfering with Cutera’s customer-, prospect- and employee relationships.
- Using Cutera’s trade secrets to solicit Cutera employees to join Lutronic;
- Keeping Cutera trade secret information in any form or any of its equipment.
Cutera also wants the court to appoint a special master to oversee Lutronic to ensure that it doesn’t use Cutera’s trade secrets, and to require Lutronic to set up a constructive trust account of money Lutronic makes from Cutera trade secrets and breaches of contract or fiduciary duty by former Cutera employees, according to the lawsuit.
Lutronic Aesthetics is a subsidiary of Lutronic, which is based in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi, South Korea. Lutronic Aesthetics employs about 25o, according to its website. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Lutronic Aesthetics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.