On October 1, 2021, Tulalip Tribal Federal Corporation (“TTFC” or “Plaintiff”), represented by Steven B. Winters of Lane Powell PC (SEA), filed a contract lawsuit against The Board Of Trustees of The Leland Stanford Junior University (“Stanford” or “Defendant”), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, damages along with prejudgment and post-judgment interest, and costs for Defendant’s alleged failure to disclose its provisional patent application to Plaintiff, which therefore constitutes a material breach of the Service Center Agreement. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington.
In the complaint, Plaintiff alleged that, “The United States is experiencing the worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history—the misuse, abuse, and over-prescription of opioids.” “To protect the tribal community’s welfare and continued sovereignty, the Tulalip Tribes have been working to confront the epidemic in a variety of ways. The Tribes spend substantial amounts of its budget and allocates significant resources on mitigation and treatment programs, social services, as well as criminal justice services.”
Plaintiff further alleged that, “To that end, TTFC executed an agreement through which TTFC shared its confidential research information and proprietary data with Stanford’s Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Laboratory in the hopes of developing a cure and patenting it under TTFC’s name. For its part, Stanford expressly promised to disclose the results of the research that used TTFC’s confidential information and proprietary data.”
Plaintiff further alleged that, “After the research yielded promising and patentable results for treating opioid addiction with an isolated fraction of natural cannabinoid oil extract, Stanford promptly broke their promise. Based on information and belief, Stanford secretly duplicated TTFC’s patentable, natural isolated fraction and applied for a provisional patent for a synthetic version. Because this synthetic version derived from research that used TTFC’s confidential information, proprietary data, and monies, it is the intellectual property of TTFC.”
Plaintiff also alleged that, “Further, Stanford’s refusal to disclose its synthetic provisional patent application to TTFC constitutes a material breach of its promise to disclose all results of the research that derived from TTFC’s confidential information, proprietary data, and monies.”
Plaintiff lists out two claims for relief. The first claim is for the breach of contract and the second claim is for the breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wherein Plaintiff alleged that, by surreptitiously filing a provisional patent application based on inventions derived from TTFC’s confidential information, Stanford unfairly frustrated and undermined the TTFC’s reasonable expectations, thereby depriving TTFC of the benefits of the Service Center Agreement.
In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested the court that Stanford be preliminarily and permanently enjoined and restrained from directly or indirectly making, using, importing, exporting, offering for sale, or selling anything related to TTFC’s confidential information, and disclose its provisional patent application, and related supporting materials for said application, to TTFC. Further, Plaintiff requested a declaratory judgment ordering Stanford to assign all its right, title, and interest in the inventions reflected in its provisional patent application to TTFC, and pay damages to compensate TTFC for both the claims in excess of $75,000, and in addition to it, an award of prejudgment interest, post-judgment interest, and costs, and an order refraining Stanford from disclosing or filing additional patent applications on TTFC’s confidential information.
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Pending - Other Pending
Tulalip Tribal Federal Corporation
The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
Steven B Winters
Attorney at LANE POWELL PC (SEA)
1420 Fifth Ave Ste 4200, Po Box 91302
Seattle, WA 98111-9402
Civil Cover Sheet
Docket(#2) CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT identifying Other Affiliate Tulalip Tribes of Washington for Tulalip Tribal Federal Corporation. Filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P 7.1. Filed by Tulalip Tribal Federal Corporation (Winters, Steven) (Entered: 10/01/2021)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against defendant(s) The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University with JURY DEMAND (Receipt # AWAWDC-7274484), filed by Tulalip Tribal Federal Corporation. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Summons)(Winters, Steven) (Entered: 10/01/2021)Read MoreRead Less
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