United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Talwani United States District Judge
InfoBionic, Inc., moved to dismiss or stay Plaintiff
CardioNet, LLC's non-patent claims pending arbitration.
Def. InfoBionic's Mot. Dismiss Pl. CardioNet's
Non-Patent Claims Because CardioNet Is Obligated to Arbitrate
Them, Or, in the Alternative, to Stay Those Claims Pending
Arbitration [#190]. Having concluded that dismissal is
improper, see Order [#274], the court now turns to
InfoBionic's request to stay the claims pending
and Braemar Manufacturing, LLC filed this action against
InfoBionic alleging patent infringement. CardioNet alleges
three additional non-patent claims: misappropriation of trade
secrets in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93, § 42 and
Massachusetts common law (Count VII); violation of the
Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act, 12 Pa. Cons. Stat.
§ 5301 et seq. (Count VIII); and unfair
competition in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A and
Pennsylvania common law (Count IX).
to the operative complaint, Dr. Ravi Kuppuraj was employed by
CardioNet from 2001 to 2002. During his tenure, Kuppuraj
entered into multiple agreements with CardioNet, including a
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement, an At-Will
Employment Agreement, and a Proprietary Information and
Inventions Agreement. Kuppuraj subsequently left CardioNet
and cofounded InfoBionic, where he became the Chief
Technology Officer. As the underlying basis for its
non-patent claims, CardioNet alleges that Kuppuraj
“improperly accessed, copied, removed, and/or
retained” confidential information upon leaving
CardioNet in breach of the aforementioned contractual
agreements. According to CardioNet, Kuppuraj provided the
information to InfoBionic, and InfoBionic used this
information in its product, the MoMe® Kardia System,
without CardioNet's consent.
pending motion seeks to stay the claims on the basis of an
arbitration agreement between Kuppuraj and CardioNet. The
arbitration agreement, which is attached as an addendum to
the At-Will Employment Agreement, reads in pertinent part:
Claims Covered by the Agreement. CardioNet and Employee
[Kuppuraj] will settle by arbitration all statutory,
contractual, and/or common law claims or controversies
(“claims”) that CardioNet may have against
Employee . . . . Claims subject to arbitration include . . .
(ii) claims for breach of any contract or covenant (express
or implied); . . . [and] (iv) tort claims . . . .
agreement “remain[s] in full force and effect, ”
pursuant to a severance agreement Kuppuraj and CardioNet
entered into at the conclusion of his employment in 2002.
acknowledges that it is not a signatory to the arbitration
agreement between Kupparaj and CardioNet but contends that
CardioNet's non-patent claims against InfoBionic are
referable to arbitration under the agreement on the basis of
equitable estoppel. CardioNet responds that InfoBionic is not
entitled to rely on the agreement between CardioNet and
Kupparaj, that the claims do not fall within the scope of the
agreement,  and that InfoBionic has waived its rights
Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 3, allows a party to
seek a stay on the ground that an issue is referable to
arbitration under an agreement in writing for such
arbitration. Under this section, the court, “upon being
satisfied that the issue involved . . . is referable to
arbitration under such an agreement, shall on application of
one of the parties stay the trial of the action until such
arbitration has been had in accordance with the terms of the
agreement, providing the applicant for the stay is not in
default in proceeding with such arbitration.”
The Court is Satisfied that InfoBionic May Invoke the
Arbitration Agreement Between Kupparaj and CardioNet Under
the Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel
party cannot be required to submit to arbitration any dispute
which [it] has not agreed so to submit.” Howsam v.
Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 537 U.S. 79, 83 (2002).
Accordingly, a party seeking to enforce an arbitration
agreement bears the burden of showing “that a valid
agreement to arbitrate exists, that the movant is entitled to
invoke the arbitration clause, that the other party is bound
by that clause, and that the claim asserted comes within the
clause's scope.” Dialysis Access Ctr., LLC v.
RMS Lifeline, Inc., 638 F.3d 367, 375 (1st Cir. 2011)
(quoting InterGen N.V. v. Grina, 344 F.3d 134, 142
(1st Cir. 2003)). A non-signatory to an arbitration ...