Better Life Technologies Group, Inc. — a Black-owned wearable biotechnology company based in San Diego, CA — recently received a favorable ruling in an ongoing $50 million lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente (KP). The 2017 lawsuit accuses the California-based healthcare giant of misappropriating its confidential, proprietary information.
According to the lawsuit, in 2012, Better Life Technologies participated in a series of meetings with KP, with the hope of advancing its wireless wearable biotech devices designed to assist in the management of critical diseases. At that time, ViQual Medical Technology, a subsidiary of Better Life Technologies, signed a nondisclosure agreement, preventing KP from disclosing any patent information related to its products.
The lawsuit states that while KP and Better Life Technologies did not eventually collaborate, KP went on to reveal lucrative, protected trade secrets to competing entities and received a substantial profit through those collaborations. The lawsuit requests that KP cease the use of ViQual’s proprietary information, provide an account of profits earned as a result of the misappropriation, and purchase a license to use the information in the future. It further called on KP to reveal documents that substantiate the plaintiff’s claim. The recent ruling compels KP to hand over this evidentiary information.
As Better Life Technologies Group President and CEO George A. McKinney shared with AfroTech, his company’s development of wireless biotech devices is a pioneering achievement.
“We are the first company to encrypt biotech info. Prior to us, hospitals were reluctant about wearable devices that could potentially compromise HIPAA,” McKinney said.
McKinney considers the favorable ruling an important step forward in ensuring that Better Technologies receives the recognition that it deserves.
“A victory in this lawsuit would be extremely pivotal. If we win this case, it will show that a trillion-dollar industry has drawn its foundation from the minds of Better Technologies,” he said.
Kaiser Permanente’s leadership has refrained from commenting on the lawsuit.