CA Court Grants Cutera Restraining Order

A federal district court in California has granted Cutera Inc. a temporary restraining order against Lutronic Aesthetics Inc. from using any of Cutera’s confidential, proprietary or trade secret information.

Medical device company Cutera was recently granted a temporary restraining order against Lutronic Aesthetics barring them from using any of the company’s confidential, proprietary or trade secret information in their ongoing case against the company.

Cutera filed a complaint against Lutronic on Jan. 30, 2020, asserting claims of misappropriation of trade secrets through Lutronic’s hiring of several former Cutera employees.

In January 2020, four Cutera employees involved in marketing and sales resigned from the company and soon afterwards were employed by their direct competitor, Lutronic Aesthetics. One of the employees started communication with the company a year before leaving. Then, between Jan. 17 and Feb. 20, nine other employees also left to join Lutronic, increasing the crossover to 13, according to the case file. Four of those employees are included in the filing.

In a forensic analysis of those employees conducted by forensic expert, Lighthouse – on behalf of Cutera, conducted prior to suit filing – it was found that after leaving the company and before returning their issued laptops, employees accessed and downloaded files thought to be confidential and proprietary to the company. Documents allegedly downloaded include files such as “Cutera 2015 Product Pricing Matrix 9 19 14 w Candela.xlsx,” “2019 Price List & Commissions,” “2019 rep info,” “Coolsculpting accounts,” among others.

Overall, the Lighthouse analysis of all former employee laptops allegedly revealed that all had be manipulated after resignation, including, but not limited to, the transfer of files to external drives, or a deletion of files.

In late February, Cutera filed a temporary restraining order against former Cutera employees. The company is currently in attribution with three of them, with the possibility of legal action against only one.

The court granted the temporary restraining order, expressing that “Good cause exists for issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order as plaintiff Cutera, Inc. has shown (1) the likely existence of protectable trade secret information and that defendant Lutronic Aesthetics, Inc.’s use or threatened use of said trade secret information will likely damage plaintiff by causing plaintiff loss of business and business advantage; (2) irreparable harm will likely occur absent an injunction as lost business and business advantage cannot be repaired with a monetary award; (3) the balance of equities favors plaintiff as the effect of the injunction is to preserve the status quo; and (4) injunctive relief would support the strong public interest in favor of protecting trade secrets,” according to the filing.

The order is effective on Cutera’s filling proof of a $5,000 bond.

The next trial date is scheduled on April 24, 2020.