Smooth Sailing, So Far

September 11, 2018
Smooth Sailing, So Far
[Source: Larry Washburn / Getty Images]

Alex Philippidis, Senior News Editor

The research institute founded and headed by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., won an early legal skirmish in a lawsuit filed by the company he co-founded four years ago—Human Longevity Inc. (HLI)—to develop and apply large-scale computing and machine learning toward making discoveries intended to revolutionize the practice of medicine.

Judge William Q. Hayes of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in August sided on procedural grounds with the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in denying a motion by HLI seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction.

HLI asked the Court to bar JCVI from “accessing, using, disclosing or discussing with anyone the contents of any private or confidential fact and/or information acquired by it and/or otherwise known to it, because of and/or through Venter obtaining information from HLI.”

HLI has accused JCVI in the lawsuit of engaging in misappropriation of HLI’s trade secrets; wrongful retention of the trade secrets and other HLI property, including a laptop; tortious interference with contract; tortious interference with prospective economic advantage against JCVI; and unfair business practices.

“HLI has failed to demonstrate that ‘immediate and irreparable injury’ will result if the Court does not issue a temporary restraining order ‘before the adverse party can be heard in opposition,’” Judge Hayes wrote, citing the text of Rule 65 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.