Theft of Pot-for-Pets Trade Secret, Vets Say

     SEATTLE (CN) – A former business partner stole secret formulas for “cannabis-based health products” for pets, two veterinarians claim in court. The defendants’ website promises: “Your pet will not get ‘high’ or in trouble with the law.”
     Sarah Brandon and Greg Copas, husband and wife veterinarians, and their company Canna Companion sued Dan Goldfarb, Canna-Pet and Cannabis Therapy Corp. on Tuesday in King County Court.
     The Canna-Pet website, checked Thursday morning, promises, “Your pet will not get ‘high’ or in trouble with the law.”
     The vets say they put 15 years of research into developing the products and used cannabis treatments on Goldfarb’s pet before they all decided to form a business.
     “Brandon and Copas are the owners of certain secret formulas, products and processes that represent proprietary trade secrets … which are used to manufacture products for the therapeutic application of cannabis to animals,” the complaint states. “These trade secrets are the result of over 15 years of research and development performed by Brandon and Copas.
     “In the fall of 2013, after Brandon examined and treated Goldfarb’s pet, Goldfarb was introduced by Brandon to the use of a cannabis-based health product for his pet. Thereafter, Brandon and Copas met with Goldfarb regarding a possible business venture that would involve the use of Brandon’s and Copas’s trade secrets in the development of pet health products.”
     They formed “Canna-Pet” to manufacture and sell the products. But discussions about the business “collapsed” in January and Brandon and Copas decided to end the venture, the complaint states.
     “At no time did Brandon and Copas ever authorize or provide a license to Goldfarb or Canna-Pet to use any of the proprietary formulas, products and processes constituting the trade secrets of Brandon and Copas. Upon termination of the relationship, Brandon warned Goldfarb that he was not authorized to use these proprietary trade secrets,” according to the complaint.
     The husband-and-wife team then formed Canna Companion and began selling cannabis pet products using their own proprietary formulas.
     Goldfarb continued to use the Canna-Pet name and started selling competing products using Brandon and Copas’ trade secrets, the complaint states.
     According to the Canna-Pet website, its cannabis supplements come in pills, powder or “canna-biscuits” and are made from industrial hemp.
     Brandon and Copas say Goldfarb not only used their trade secrets, but also licensed the formulas to another company.
     “In August 2014, Cannabis Therapy announced that it had entered into a license with Canna-Pet that covered the production and sale of animal health and pet products currently made by Canna-Pet, using a cannabis-based formula. Upon information and belief, this licensing agreement unlawfully allows Cannabis Therapy to produce and sell pet products using plaintiff’s trade secrets,” according to the complaint.
     The couple say they sent letters to Goldfarb, Canna-Pet and Cannabis Therapy demanding they cease and desist using the formulas, but got no response.
     They seek an injunction and damages for willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets.
     They are represented by David Eckberg, with Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara.

%d bloggers like this: