Judge Bars Newspapers From Using Documents on Blood Substitute Citing Trade Secrets
Officials from Northfield Laboratories and the weekly newspaper San Diego Reader plan to meet this week to discuss a temporary court order barring the newspaper from publishing information obtained under the California Public Records Act about a synthetic blood substitute, a Northfield spokesperson said, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
Superior Court Judge Joan Lewis on Dec. 21, 2005, issued the temporary order saying information obtained by the Reader might contain trade secrets that could compromise the company's research.
According to a lawsuit filed by Northfield, which is developing the blood substitute for use in trauma patients, the company "would lose considerable competitive advantage gained at the expense of 20 years of research and development" if the information were disclosed.
The temporary order remains in effect through Friday and lists six documents obtained by the Reader that must be returned to the company. Northfield has allowed the newspaper to keep the documents until an agreement is reached.
Lewis issued the order in an ex parte hearing. Attorneys for the Reader were not notified of the hearing and did not have an opportunity to argue their case (Hettena, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 1/6).