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Sunday, January 5, 2020

Small Black-Owned Tech Firm Gets Favorable Ruling in Lawsuit Against Healthcare Giant Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente Hospital

Nationwide — ViQUAL Medical Technology LLC, an African American-owned biotech firm recently had a California Judge grant their attorney’s Motion to Compel against Kaiser Permanente, a large healthcare behemoth. ViQUAL claims that “on or about late 2016, it discovered that Kaiser used the plaintiff’s proprietary trade secrets to enter into business relationships with plaintiff’s competitors and several of Kaiser’s partners.” The complaint, which was filed early 2017 in California State Court, further states that Kaiser developed has greatly profited from pilfering its technology.

ViQUAL states that it’s trade secrets were stolen after mutually signing a nondisclosure, non-compete contract with Kaiser in 2012, which contains the signature of Jed Weissberg, Kaiser’s then CTO. ViQUAL shared its secrets with C-level officers of Kaiser and had meetings regarding their innovative physician to patient wireless-wearable communication technologies that had applications, which have gone global.

At the time, ViQUAL Medical was created to be a medical device division of Better Life Technologies Group, Inc., which received intellectual property from Better Life and subsequently created its own unique patent-pending and trade secreted technologies. The trade secrets involved “a technology designed to help monitor patients suffering from diabetes, heart conditions, cancer and a host of other medical diseases in a manner that complied with HIPPA regulations.”

The Motion to Compel was directed at getting Kaiser to turn over documents that ViQUAL says would provide further evidence that the giant took its trade secrets and profited off of them. Kaiser has been stonewalling ViQUAL for almost 9 months filing a series of motions to keep critical documents from getting into the hands of ViQUAL’s lawyers.

ViQUAL’s CEO George McKinney says that, “This is a big step in the right direction. For far too long, giant corporations have harbored a history of stealing technology from African-American inventors who were denied their fair share of their own intellectual ingenuity, and to add insult to injury, these companies have ignored their decedents from anything but a verbal acknowledgement if they happen to get caught. Today, corporate giants use all types of tactics and diversions, including, but not limited to hiring top minority executives to fake the idea of inclusion.”

McKinney says he is encouraged by the progress made by Byron Allen and his suit against Comcast, which he says mirrors his complaint against Kaiser.

For more information about the case, please contact Kim Mouzon at mailforkim.mm@gmail.com or call their offices at 619-941-1417.