Health Data Company Sues Competitor Over Trade Secrets, Poaching Employees

Iqvia, Inc. sued defendants Veeva Systems, Inc. and Peter Stark in the District of New Jersey Monday over alleged breaches of non-competitive agreements that the plaintiff held with Stark. The complaint for injunctive relief and damages cites breach of several agreements, tortious interference with contact, non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality.

Stark, according to the plaintiffs, previously owned a company called Pursuit Solutions, which was purchased by the plaintiff in 2016. As a result of the transaction and his corresponding “continued, highly-compensated employment at Iqvia,” Stark was subjected to certain non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality obligations.

Stark’s employment at Iqvia allegedly consisted of running marketing analytics, more specifically to direct “the design and future roadmap of Iqvia’s primary marketing analytics tool… specifically so as to compete directly with Defendant Veeva.” In 2021, Stark was tasked with collecting trade secrets and other highly confidential information about Iqvia so that he could produce a detailed assessment of their commercial technology offerings as compared to defendant Veeva. He had access to all of Iqvia’s strategic plans, competitive intelligence, and investment plans, the complaint said.

The valuable position Stark held at Iqvia led Veeva to recruit Stark for “employment discussions” in June, the complaint said. The plaintiff claims that upon recruiting employees from their competitors, Veeva then aims to file “baseless preemptive lawsuits… seeking to invalidate those employees’ non-compete agreements.” In the months where Stark was engaged in employment discussions with Veeva, he continued working with highly confidential Iqvia competition information.

In September, Stark informed Iqvia that he would be leaving their company for a senior position at Veeva, where is he would lead “the development of Veeva’s entire commercial services strategy.” In an effort to quell Iqvia’s concerns, he informed them that his employment at Veeva would not begin until January 2022. The plaintiff claims that they believe Stark’s employment actually began in October, that he “is already commercially active with Veeva, and is guiding Veeva in the recruitment of other Iqvia employees.”

Iqvia argues that it is now at risk of losing all of its trade secrets and other confidential information to one of their top competitors due to the unlawful actions on behalf of the defendants. They claim that it is “inconceivable” to think that Stark will not disclose the confidential information he has regarding Iqvia to his new employer, Veeva. The plaintiff asserts that anything short of immediate injunctive relief will cause irreparable injuries to their company.

The plaintiff is seeking injunctions preventing Stark and Veeva from continuing any form of employment and violating Stark’s confidentiality agreements with Iqvia. They are also seeking declaratory and monetary relief, compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgement interest, litigation fees, and any other relief deemed just by the Court.The plaintiff is represented by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.