Intermagnetics files lawsuit against GE

November 10, 1999

MRI developer Intermagnetics General has sued GE Medical Systems to prevent an employee from joining GE. In the lawsuit filed Oct. 18 in the Supreme State Court of Albany (NY), Intermagnetics is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction stopping

MRI developer Intermagnetics General has sued GE Medical Systems to prevent an employee from joining GE. In the lawsuit filed Oct. 18 in the Supreme State Court of Albany (NY), Intermagnetics is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction stopping Jinhua Huang from accepting employment or commencing work with GE or any other employer in a position in which he will be involved in the design, use, or manufacture of MRI magnet systems or components. Huang had announced that he would start work with GE on Oct. 25.

Latham, NY-based Intermagnetics says that Huang will inevitably disclose to his new employer Intermagnetics’ MRI systems and processes that constitute the firm’s trade secrets. According to court filings by Intermagnetics, Huang has been extensively involved in the engineering, design, and development of Intermagnetics’ MRI magnet systems, and has detailed knowledge of them. In addition, the filings say that Huang had access to and developed numerous trade secrets regarding Intermagnetics’ MRI systems and processes, including superconducting magnet windings, interfaces, clearances, protection systems, shimming design, computer codes, cryostat spacings, coil mechanics, cold mass suspension, and suspension techniques.

To support its request for an injunction, Intermagnetics referred to an employee confidentiality and proprietary information agreement Huang had signed with Intermagnetics in late 1991 upon joining the firm. In the agreement, Huang promised to maintain in confidence all the firm’s confidential information and trade secrets, according to Intermagnetics. Intermagnetics says that Huang’s conduct constitutes a misappropriation of Intermagnetics’ trade secrets that will irreparably injure Intermagnetics’ business, and is also seeking an award of money damages. A GE spokesperson was unavailable for comment.