Jury Rules on Mayo Scientist Trade Secrets Case

A federal jury reportedly found that Peter Elkin misappropriated Mayo Clinic's trade secrets, but Mayo was also ordered to pay the doctor royalties for software he created while employed there.

After four hours of deliberation, a federal jury on Wednesday determined that a former Mayo Clinic scientist misappropriated the health care giant's trade secrets and breached an employment contract when he left for a different job in New York, according to a report by the Star Tribune.

But the jury also ordered Mayo to pay Peter Elkin $143,222 in royalties for medical record software he created while employed at the Rochester hospital system-although Elkin contends that Mayo owes him up to $520,000, the newspaper reported.

Elkin, a high-profile physician in the bioinformatics field, was hired by Mayo in 1996. Mayo later created a company to commercialize technology developed by Elkin, and that company was later sold. Elkin left his post at Mayo to join the Mount Sinai Medical Center in 2008, according to the Star Tribune.

That same year, Elkin and the Mayo Foundation for Medical Research and Education reportedly sued each other, and Mayo alleged that the physician tried to undermine the commercialization of the software.

The chair of Mayo's office of intellectual property told the Minneapolis newspaper that the jury's verdict reflects Mayo's policy of paying employees a portion of the profits generated by their ideas. Mayo, in turn, owns the associated intellectual property.

Read the full report by the Star Tribune here.