UK consumer-goods giant Reckitt Benckiser LLC did not steal trade secrets from a small pharma company to make its K-Y branded premature ejaculation spray, a jury said in a New Jersey Federal Court verdict.
The jury concluded after a four-week trial that Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC did not reveal that Reckitt committed fraud during negotiations about potentially buying the firm or that the information at issue was entitled to trade-secret protection.
Based in Las Vegas, Absorption Pharmaceuticals said in its 2017 lawsuit that its Promescent lidocaine spray was poised to do for premature ejaculation as Viagra fixed for erectile dysfunction. Absorption Pharmaceuticals said it shared secrets with Reckitt during talks about a potential acquisition.
According to the lawsuit, senior employees of Reckitt tried samples of Promescent and confirmed that it worked. According to the lawsuit, Absorption later sent thousands of bottles of its premature ejaculation spray to Reckitt for testing.
The lawsuit also said Reckitt Benckiser committed fraud by making false statements about its intentions to acquire Absorption, which convinced it to divulge its secrets and decline a chance to be acquired by another firm.
Reckitt’s attorneys argued in a court filing last month that it had not lied to Absorption and that the company had failed to identify any stolen trade secrets.