Professor accused of telling secrets

January 16, 2006

A California biotech company has reportedly filed a legal action against a University of Connecticut professor, alleging he disclosed trade secrets.

Sequoia Sciences Inc. of San Diego accuses Chemical Engineering Professor Thomas Wood of disclosing trade secrets connected to research he did for Sequoia on a compound that prevents a protective film from forming over bacteria.

Wood allegedly disclosed the confidential information at various scientific conferences, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant said Monday.

Wood is now teaching in the Texas A&M University system.

Sequoia told the Courant it owns the biofilm inhibitors Wood tested through the company's contract with the University of Connecticut.

Wood's lawyer, Texas Assistant Attorney General Robert Henneke, is asking a U.S. District Court judge in Connecticut to dismiss the case. Henneke says Connecticut was the wrong place to file the legal action, since Wood lives in Texas, Sequoia is located in California and the conferences were in Atlanta and San Francisco.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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