WASHINGTON (TIP):Warm, fuzzy superlatives may be in vogue to describe current US-India ties, but when it comes to protecting its national interest and cutting edge intellectual property,Washington gives no quarter, even to its so-called “natural ally”. The FBI on Wednesday came down like a ton of bricks on Ketankumar Maniar, an Indian national who had worked till recently in New Jersey medical technology company Becton, Dickinson, and Company, accusing him of stealing trade secrets pertaining to self-administered disposable pen injector still being developed by the 116- year old US firm.
Maniar was arrested from a New Jersey hotel just 48 hours before he was planning to relocate to India with proprietary information worth millions of dollars, authorities alleged. In a seven page criminal complaint filed in a New Jersey Court, the FBI said Maniar, 36, had resigned from the company in May this year after working there for 15 months. In the days leading to his resignation and even after he quit on May 24, the company claimed it discovered through an internal investigation that he had downloaded 8,000 files containing among other things proprietary information about the so-called “disposable pen” syringe which the company was developing.
The company alleged that Maniar downloaded and transferred confidential files to his email and other devices even when he called in sick a day ahead of his resignation. “Information downloaded by the defendant collectively constitute a veritable toolkit for mass production of the Disposable Pen,” FBI Special Agent Laurie Allen said in the Bureau’s criminal complaint which gave details of what Maniar downloaded, including product design and assembly pictures, data on schedules for manufacturing, pricing, and other information that could be sold to BD’s competitors, to himself set up a new business, or simply to market himself for future employment.