United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING PLANTIFF'S MOTION FOR FURTHER
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION [DKT. 84]
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
cause is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Further Preliminary Injunction [Dkt. 84] filed on October 10,
2019. With that motion, Plaintiff BioConvergence LLC d/b/a
Singota Solutions (“Singota”) seeks an order
supplementing an existing preliminary injunction entered by
the Monroe Circuit Court I (Indiana) on March 4, 2019.
Singota specifically requests an order enjoining Defendant
Jaspreet Attariwala from working for her current employer and
Singota's direct competitor, Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.
(“Emergent”), as well as any other competitor
based on alleged violations of the Indiana Uniform Trade
Secrets Act. This matter was heard on two occasions by this
court, on November 21, 2019, and December 4, 2019.
reasons detailed in this entry, Plaintiff's motion is
facts giving rise to this litigation are both prolix and
labyrinthine; thankfully, they are largely undisputed by the
is a limited liability corporation based in Bloomington,
Indiana. [Am. Compl. ¶ 17]. It operates as a contract
development and manufacturing organization, sometimes
referred to as a “CMO” or “CDMO, ”
offering services for clients in pharmaceutical, animal
health, and medical device industries. [Id. at
¶ 18]. Singota's services relate to sterile products
that must be administered by injection, and Singota focuses
its sterile-product capacity on primarily servicing clients
with early-to-mid and late-stage research and development as
well as commercial products that require small-scale capacity
equipment [Id. at ¶ 19]. In serving its
clients, Singota maintains highly confidential information
with respect to its clients' products and is thus
required to enter into client-specific confidentiality and
disclosure agreements with strict terms governing
Singota's storage, protection, and return of its
clients' confidential product information. [Id.
at ¶¶ 23-24].
Attariwala was first employed as a Senior Business
Development Manager for Singota in September 2015.
[Id. ¶ 27]. In this role, she was responsible
for promoting Singota's business and generating new
client projects. As a Senior Business Development Manager,
she maintained access to Singota's confidential and
proprietary information as well as Singota's clients'
confidential and proprietary information. [Id. at
condition of her employment with Singota, Ms. Attariwala
executed an employment agreement in 2015 at the outset of her
employment. [Id. at ¶ 27]. The employment
agreement contained two restrictive covenants relevant to
this litigation: a covenant not to solicit certain Singota
clients and prospective clients, and a covenant not to use,
disclose, or misappropriate Singota's confidential
information. The nondisclosure provision specifically
Employee (i) shall use Confidential Information solely in
connection with Employee's employment with the Company;
(ii) shall not directly or indirectly disclose, use or
exploit any Confidential Information for Employee's own
benefit or the benefit of any other person or entity, other
than the Company, both during and after Employee's
employment with the Company or as required by law; and (iii)
shall hold Confidential Information in trust and confidence,
and use all reasonable means to assure that it is not
directly or indirectly disclosed to or copied by unauthorized
persons or used in an unauthorized manner, both during and
after Employee's employment with the Company.
[Am. Compl., Exh. A]. The agreement defines confidential
[A]ny proprietary, confidential, or company-sensitive
information and materials which are the property of or relate
to the Company or business of the Company. Confidential
Information shall include without limitation all information
and materials created by, provided to, or otherwise disclosed
to Employee in connection with Employee's employment with
the Company (excepting only information and materials already
known by the general public), including without limitation
(i) trade secrets, (ii) the names and addresses of the
Company's past, present or prospective contributors,
beneficiaries or business contacts, and all information
relating to such contributors, beneficiaries, or business
contacts, regardless of whether such information was supplied
or produced by the Company or such contributors,
beneficiaries, or business contacts; and (iii) information
concerning the Company's affiliates, financing sources,
profits, revenues, financial condition, fund raising
activity, and investment activity, business strategies, and
software used by the Company and associated layouts,
templates, processes, documentation, databases, designs and
[Id.] The non-solicitation provision states:
During Employee's employment with the Company and for a
period of twelve (12) months (which shall be extended by the
length of any period during which Employee is in violation of
this section) immediately following the termination of
Employee's employment for any reason, Employee (on
Employee's own behalf or that of any other person or
entity) shall not directly or indirectly sell or otherwise
provide or solicit the sale or provision of any product or
service that competes directly or indirectly with any
business of the Company to any customer or prospective
customer or prospective customer as to which, during the 12
months immediately preceding the date of termination,
Employee (i) engaged in any solicitation, sales activity, or
other direct contact (in person, in writing, by telephone or
electronically) on behalf of the Company; (ii) performed any
duties or services on behalf of the Company; and/or (iii)
received any Confidential Information.
Ms. Attariwala's Departure from Singota and Commencement
of Employment with Emergent
October 2018, Ms. Attariwala undertook negotiations with
Emergent, a direct competitor of Singota, regarding her
potential employment with that company. [Dkt. 85, Exh. A.]
She ultimately accepted an offer from Emergent as a Senior
Manager on December 11, 2018 and submitted her resignation to
Singota on December 19, 2018. [Dkt. 85, at 7, 8]. She
officially departed Singota later that month and commenced her
employment with Emergent on February 11, 2019. [Id.
at 9, 13].
Ms. Attariwala's departure, Singota began to suspect that
Ms. Attariwala had breached the restrictive covenants of her
employment agreement. [Id. at 10]. In late-December
2018, a review of Ms. Attariwala's email revealed that
she been in contact with Singota's current and
prospective clients to inform them of her transition to
Emergent. She further notified these clients that she would
be in contact with them in January once she settled into her
new position. [Id.]. She also shared information
about Emergent's aseptic filling capabilities with at
least one of these clients. [Id.]
discovering these communications, Singota issued a cease and
desist letter to Ms. Attariwala demanding that she comply
with the terms of her employment agreement and that she
immediately disclose to them any confidential or proprietary
information that she had accessed following her departure.
[Id. at 10-11, Exh. A]. Singota requested that Ms.
Attariwala provide assurances, under oath, identifying said
information and describing any use thereof. [Id.]
The parties participated in ongoing discussions in an attempt
to informally resolve these disputes, but without avail; Ms.
Attariwala denied any improper communications with clients
and would not provide Singota with any requested assurances.
[Dkt. 85, at 12; Am. Compl. ¶ 42].
in February 2019, an analysis of Ms. Attariwala's Singota
email data revealed that Ms. Attariwala had, on the same day
she had accepted employment with Emergent, forwarded large
amounts of Singota's confidential information to her
personal email address, including a memorandum discussing
Singota's aseptic manufacturing capabilities as well as
information about Singota's clients, prospective clients,
contact lists, internal processes, technology, and business
practices. [Dkt. 85, at 13]. Singota also discovered that Ms.
Attariwala, while in negotiations with Emergent, had
forwarded a prospective client opportunity, which she had
received on behalf of Singota, to her personal email account
and to her future supervisor at Emergent. [Id., at
discoveries prompted Singota to file suit against Ms.
Attariwala in the Monroe Circuit Court I (Indiana) on
February 27, 2019, and seek a temporary restraining order and
preliminary injunction. [Id. at 14].
State Court Proceedings
State Court Enjoins Ms. Attariwala
February 28, 2019, the state court entered a Temporary
Restraining Order against Ms. Attariwala:
1) Enjoining Ms. Attariwala from having in her possession,
custody, or control and from directly or indirectly using the
Company's trade secrets, confidential information,
protected information, and other property;
(2) Prohibiting Ms. Attariwala from breaching her Employment
Agreement by directly or indirectly communicating with or
servicing the Company's clients and prospective clients;
(3) Requiring Ms. Attariwala to return to the Company all
confidential information, protected information, and other
property that she took or copied from the Company, including
from all email accounts, computer hardware or software, and
other electronic storage media, and for independent
verification of her compliance with these requirements
[Dkt. 85, Exh. D]. The state court contemporaneously issued a
preservation order requiring Ms. Attariwala to
“preserve all potentially relevant evidence in this
case, including expressly electronically stored data in her
possession, custody, or control relating to Singota,
including emails or data [.]” [Dkt. 4-1, at 86].
state court conducted preliminary injunction hearings on
March 1, 2019 and March 4, 2019. Following these hearings,
the state court entered a stipulated preliminary injunction
requiring Ms. Attariwala and all those acting in concert with
• avoid directly or indirectly disclosing, using, or
exploiting Singota's “Confidential
Information” and to hold such Confidential Information
in trust and confidence until it could be returned to
• turn over all documents, data, devices, storage media,
and other property belonging to Singota;
• avoid directly or indirectly destroying, erasing, or
otherwise making unavailable any such documents, data,
devices, storage media, etc.
• within twenty-four (24) hours, make all computers,
hard drives, storage media, email and cloud accounts, cell
phones, and other devices available to Singota's forensic
expert, Ms. Rebecca Green;
• not attempt to reconstitute, recover, or in any way
restore any of the Confidential Information returned to
Singota pursuant to the preliminary injunction;
• and comply with all other restrictive covenants in her
[Dkt. 85, Exh. F]. The state court simultaneously issued an
Order for Inspection of Computers and Electronic Information
Storage Devices (the “Inspection Order) detailing
specific protocols to ensure that Ms. Attariwala produce for
inspection all accounts and devices that could contain
Singota information. [Dkt. 85, Exh. G]. The Inspection Order,
in conjunction with the preliminary injunction, ordered Ms.
Attariwala, and all those acting in concert with her, to
produce for inspection all computers, hard drives, electronic
storage devices, email or cloud accounts, phones, and tablets
used to store electronic information within her possession,
custody, or control. [Id.]. Ms. Attariwala, and all
those acting in concert with her, were also ordered to
produce all documents, data and materials which contained
confidential information; all documents, products, notes, or
materials connected with or arising out Ms. Attariwala's
employment with Singota; any computer, software, phone, or
other device provided by the company; and any security
devices related to Singota. [Id.]
Attariwala was to produce the specified accounts and devices
with 24 hours following the issuance of the injunction and to
immediately cease accessing any account or device that
contained Singota's confidential information. She was
explicitly ordered not to access any storage location where
Singota's information may be contained until Ms.
Green's examination of the particular location was
completed. Finally, the Inspection Order detailed terms and
conditions by which Ms. Green was to inspect the accounts and
conclusion of the preliminary injunction hearings, the state
court further determined that Ms. Attariwala should bear the
costs of Ms. Green's forensic work anticipated in the
stipulated preliminary injunction and the Inspection Order.
The state court memorialized this decision in a written order
dated March 18, 2019 (the “Expenses Order”).
[Dkt. 85, Exh. H].
Ms. Green's March 2019 Inspections
the entry of the state court's stipulated preliminary
injunction and Inspection Order, Ms. Attariwala produced
several accounts and devices,  including her personal computer,
iPhone, and iPad, and her husband's MacBook computer.
[Dkt. 85, at 17-19; Exh. B, ¶ 215]. At that time,
Singota, while it did not yet know the full extent of the
documents taken and potentially shared by Ms. Attariwala,
Singota believed that Ms. Attariwala's purported
production of all accounts and devices in her possession
would enable Ms. Green to efficiently complete her inspection
and remove any risk of misappropriation of Singota's
confidential information and trade secrets.
as Ms. Green commenced her inspections in March 2019, she
soon realized that the scope of the required inspection was
exponentially greater than the parties had contemplated when
they entered into their stipulated preliminary injunction.
[Dkt. 85, Exh. B at 16]. Ms. Green's initial review of
Mr. Attariwala's MacBook, for example, produced more than
10, 000 “hits” for the search terms
“Singota, BioConvergence, and BioC, ” and Ms.
Attariwala's iPhone produced over 3000 hits. Ms. Green
also discovered fourteen email and cloud accounts with over
three million emails that could potentially contain
Singota's confidential information. These accounts, once
uncovered by Ms. Green, led to the discovery that Ms.
Attariwala had emailed Singota documents to accounts that
were never disclosed and connected various accounts and
devices to those devices containing Singota's
confidential information [Id. at 16-21]. Ms. Green
also discovered the transmittal of Singota data through email
accounts that Ms. Attariwala had represented as not
containing any confidential information of Singota's.
Green further determined that Ms. Attariwala had backed up
her iPhone to an undisclosed iCloud account on the same day
the stipulated preliminary injunction was entered and had
accessed at least one email account likely containing Singota
data at the same time Ms. Green was conducting her analysis,
all in contravention of the state court orders. Ms.
Attariwala admitted deleting an unknown number of ...