I've seen this (been there done that)before,the paper the sales force signed is not worth the paper it was written on. When people are not happy at work they have a right to leave.The lawsuit will be thrown out of court.
A unit of Synthes Inc. (SYST), the world’s largest maker of bone-related medical devices, accused Stryker Corp. (SYK) in a lawsuit of raiding its San Francisco sales force and using confidential information from former employees.
Stryker seeks to obtain “an improper competitive advantage” in the industry for medical implants and instruments used in spinal surgery, Synthes USA Sales LLC said in the complaint filed today in federal court in Philadelphia. Synthes also accused three former sales employees of misappropriating trade secrets and breaching their contractual and fiduciary obligations to the company.
The former employees resigned from Synthes from August to early October, according to the complaint. They immediately began working for Stryker, one of the company’s direct competitors, and are soliciting former customers, according to the court filing.
Representatives of Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Stryker didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and phone message at the company headquarters seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy Synthes, based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in April for $21.3 billion to become the leader in the $5.5 billion market for devices to treat trauma victims.
The case is Synthes USA Sales LLC v. Stryker Corp., 11- cv-07876, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
Agree, any sales force that has so called trade secrets at its disposal is working for a company that is begging to become extinct! Let me see, R&D, Sales, Logistics, IT, admin, exec., hmmmm all these are normally under a different roof regarding so called, trade secrets! LOL! This whole saga sounds like SOUR GRAPES which is kind of ironic since we're talking Northern California.....Wine Country, not WHINE COUNTRY!
The bottom line is that Synthes was on the block and their executives are going to jail. In that situation, talented sales reps are naturally going to head to the environment that they think provides the best fit - most likely a competitor in the same business. Their most valuable asset is their relationships and those will follow the rep by definition, non-competes etc. notwithstanding. That is the definition of relationship and why it is so huge in this business.
I would not want to be the attorney arguing that the underhanded sales reps took advantage of Synthes, the paragon of virtue. Their Swiss logic has as many holes as their cheese but doesn't sit in the stomach nearly so well.