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Misappropriation of Information

The securities laws are limited in scope. There are more general commercial laws that prohibit the misappropriation of confidential information. These laws apply to employee physicians and others who have a relationship with the company. Physicians have the same duty to protect the company's information that they have to protect a patient's confidences. Improperly disclosing confidential information or using it for personal benefit is illegal, regardless of whether it violates the securities laws against the insider trading of stock. For example, a physician who has access to a proprietary cell culture formula through a confidential research agreement may not use that formula for research that does not benefit the company. A person who breaches the duty of confidentiality to a company can be sued by the company and prosecuted criminally for theft.


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