Codexis goes after Chinese company EnzymeWorks over trade secret and patent issues
Codexis has gone against EnzymeWorks and its founder Junhua [Alex] Tao for misappropriating trade secrets and infringing on Codexis patents. Tao, while an employee of Pfizer, led a joint research project between Pfizer and Codexis. EnzymeWorks is based in Zhangjiagang, China.
As to trade secrets, there is an assertion of copying of a plasmid designed by Codexis, which is a proprietary technology that Codexis uses to develop and produce its engineered enzymes. Secret information resides in the selection, arrangement, and sequence of the DNA in the plasmid.
The suit is in federal court, case No. 3:16-cv-00826-BLF in the United States District Court, Northern District of California filed on February 19, 2016.
IPBiz has discussed Codexis in the biofuel context; see for example
** In passing, the 18 Feb 2016 episode of the CBS show Elementary titled --A Study in Charlotte -- had a sub-plot involving employee theft of trade secrets related to biofuels from the company Zarachem.