Posts tagged "Alnylam"

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-026-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS MIDDLESEX, ss. SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL ACTION No. 2015-4126 (Specially Assigned to Leibensperger, J.) ALNYLAM PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. vs. DICERNA PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON ALNYLAM’S SPECIAL MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTERCLAIMS UNDER THE ANTI-SLAPP STATUTE, AND ON ALNYLAM’S MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTERCLAIMS UNDER RULE 12(b)(6)1 These motions present the issue of whether, in a battle between business competitors, the defendant may assert a counterclaim against the plaintiff based on plaintiff’s commencement of the lawsuit. Specifically, may the defendant proceed on counterclaims of tortious interference with advantageous relations, abuse of process and violation of G.L. c. 93A based on the allegation that the initiation of the lawsuit by the plaintiff was motivated by an ulterior purpose to squelch the defendant as a competitor, as opposed to a good faith belief in the claims asserted? Here, Alnylam attacks counterclaims asserted by Dicerna. Alnylam seeks dismissal of Dicerna’s counterclaims on the ground that they are all based on Alnylam’s exercise of its right to petition the government by commencing the lawsuit. Alnylam invokes the protection of the anti-SLAPP staute, G.L. c. 231, § 59H. Alnylam also contends that Dicerna’s counterclaims fail to meet the standard for asserting viable causes of action. Thus, Alnylam moves for dismissal 1 This Order will also address Alnylam’s Rule 42(b) Motion to Bifurcate. 1 under Rule 12(b)(6). I will address the anti-SLAPP motion first as the resolution of that motion will necessarily determine whether the counterclaims survive Rule 12(b)(6). BACKGROUND This action was commenced by Alnylam in June 2015. Alnylam claims that Dicerna misappropriated Alnylam’s trade secrets. In general, the trade secrets include those developed at Merck and purchased by Alnylam for millions of dollars. Alnylam alleges that the theft occurred in at least two ways. First, Dicerna hired scientists who had been employed at Merck, and those scientists brought Merck’s trade secret documents with them to Dicerna. Second, Dicerna had bid for Merck’s trade secrets at the same time as Alnylam. In that connection, Dicerna was provided with access to Merck’s trade secrets under an agreement not to use or disclose the trade secrets if the bid were unsuccessful. Dicerna’s bid was unsuccessful, as the sale went to Alnylam. Alnylam claims that Dicerna is, nevertheless, using the Merck/Alnylam trade secrets. Alnylam seeks damages and an injunction in its complaint but it chose not to seek a preliminary injunction. Dicerna did not attack Alnylam’s complaint with a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment. Two years later, in June 2017, Dicerna moved to amend its responsive pleading to assert counterclaims against Alnylam. After hearing, I allowed the motion to amend. The counterclaims are in three counts: Count I, Tortious Interference With Advantageous Relations; Count […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm

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