October 09, 2023
On September 22, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled in favor of Cravath clients Abiomed, Inc. and Abiomed Europe GmbH (together, “Abiomed”), denying a motion to dismiss litigation brought by Abiomed against German defendants Enmodes GmbH and its CEO Tim Kaufmann.
The suit, filed in October 2022, alleges breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation related to Abiomed’s research and development around the next generation of Impella heart pumps, the Impella ECP™, which will be the smallest heart pump in the world. In 2020, Abiomed entered into two contracts with Enmodes to provide development, modeling, and design work for the Impella ECP. Enmodes contractually committed to assign any intellectual property related to Enmodes’ performance of the contract to Abiomed, not to disclose Abiomed’s confidential information to any third party, and not to perform services related to heart pumps for any of Abiomed’s competitors. As asserted in Abiomed’s complaint, Enmodes and Kaufmann subsequently disclosed Abiomed’s confidential information and trade secrets to a Chinese company that stated publicly it plans to compete with Abiomed by manufacturing heart pumps similar to the Impella line of products.
Enmodes and Kaufmann moved to dismiss Abiomed’s Massachusetts lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction and on the basis of forum non conveniens. After finding that Massachusetts’s Long‑Arm Statute permitted jurisdiction over Enmodes and Kaufmann, the court examined whether jurisdiction was proper under the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. The court held that Enmodes’ and Kaufmann’s contacts with Massachusetts were “instrumental” in the formation of the contracts at issue, which established Enmodes’ duty of confidentiality with respect to Abiomed’s trade secrets. The court concluded that “jurisdiction over Defendants comports with the Due Process Clause and consequently concludes that Abiomed has established personal jurisdiction.” With respect to forum non conveniens, the court concluded that although “the Regional Court of Cologne in Germany is an adequate Forum,” considerations of “convenience and judicial efficiency do not counsel strongly against litigation in Massachusetts.” Accordingly, the court allowed Abiomed’s lawsuit to proceed in Massachusetts.
The Cravath team included partners Keith R. Hummel and Benjamin Gruenstein, of counsel Andrei Harasymiak and associates Jonathan D. Mooney and Lauren E. Phillips.
The case is Abiomed, Inc., et al. v. Enmodes GmbH, et al., No. 23‑cv‑10087 (D. Mass.)
Deals & Cases
January 31, 2023
In January, 2023, Cravath client Abiomed Inc. (“Abiomed”) secured a victory before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
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