A former BD R&D engineer is scheduled to go on trial in Salt Lake City on January 6, 2020, accused of stealing trade secrets in order to compete with the company.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Utah’s central district indicted Minh Quang Hoang in May 2018 on 11 counts of stealing trade secrets related to laminated foil used to package BD alcohol swabs, specifications for foam used to protect BD needleless connector caps, specs and usage information for an unnamed polymer, plans for antimicrobial dressings, market research for device disinfection, and more.
Hoang has pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to a press release from his son, Hoang was a refugee who fled Communism in Vietnam. He joined BD in 1988 and was working at its Sandy, Utah development and manufacturing facility as an R&D staff engineer until he was terminated in 2015. Hoang was responsible for research, development and enhancement of BD’s antiseptic surgical prep products and intravenous catheters, including its needleless connector caps, according to the indictment.
Beginning in 2014, Hoang allegedly developed a plan to use BD’s confidential business plans and product specifications to benefit a company he founded while a BD employee, and to help a separate, unnamed company develop a product to compete with BD. The indictment also accuses Hoang of stealing a BD prototype and mailing it to a company in China.
He also allegedly stole and mailed to the Chinese company trade secrets about laminated foil used to package BD alcohol swabs, specifications for the foam used to protect BD needleless connector caps, and specs and usage information for an unnamed polymer. Hoang allegedly tried to secure IP rights in China for a product that the unnamed, separate company was developing using BD trade secrets, believing that BD or one of its competitors would pay $6 million for the technology, the indictment says.
According to a 2015 FBA search warrant application, Hoang had access to information on a variety of IV catheters and accessories, surgical scrub products and blood collection products manufactured in Sandy, and used proprietary molding and manufacturing technology for various medtech devices. That information included trade secrets about BD’s Q-Syte needleless connector valve for IV therapy, its E-Z Scrub antimicrobial skin-cleansing products for acute care settings, and its Vialon polyurethane used in the company’s IV catheter systems. Hoang developed, designed and improved E-Z Scrub and Vialon, the application says.
In 2015, Hoang allegedly downloaded information on then-current BD products and about product development for BD’s multi-billion dollar medication and procedural solutions business and had booked a trip to Hong Kong for September before he was terminated.
“The information taken by Hoang would provide a roadmap to any skilled third party in the field to recreate BD’s products and technologies,” the search warrant application says.
The trial is scheduled to last three weeks.