The cost of a Corporation Stealing from an Individual has been the loss of human lives — the very lives the individual is trying to save.
For instance, preterm babies given fortifiers made from cow’s milk have a much higher risk of developing a fatal condition called necrotizing enterocolitis.
Medo wanted to save babies’ lives. Her investors only wanted to make money. As a businesswoman, Medo knew they could do both. The corporation wanted more money — faster.
Since 1999, Prolacta has had a monopoly or near-monopoly in the market of human milk fortifier.
In 2009, after separating from Prolacta, Medo launched Medolac, a public benefit corporation.
The development of shelf-stable mother’s milk would also allow Medolac to pass along much of those savings to consumers and help stabilize more sick babies, and ultimately saves lives.
The Medo-case has been in litigation for the past five years. As with all corporate suits, they use the tactic of prolonged litigation to break down the efforts of smaller companies and individuals.
What do the lawyers say? It depends on which side you are on. A lawyer makes more money with a corporation than they do with an individual. But, founders need to protect themselves right in the beginning.
Beyond the financial cost, there is also the intrusive discovery process through which the parties in a case obtain information and evidence form the other side. And corporations have more money to throw at the issue.
Medolac has developed a 48,000 square foot processing facility that claims it can provide for 100% of the domestic market— at a fraction of Prolacta’s cost.
The dream for these desperately sick infants can only happen if Medolac can ever make it through the current litigation.
“Take customer information. This is one of the most commonly asserted trade secrets. But in the year 2020, it’s also one of the most absurd. In this case, it seems obvious that any hospital in the United States serving newborn babies is a potential customer. All you have to do is call the neonataldepartment.Courts have to catch up with reality and recognize that the emergence of resources like Google has fundamentally changed the landscape of competition. Just because something was a trade secret in 1995 doesn’t mean it’s a trade secret today.”
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