Thursday, January 07, 2010, 1/07/2010 09:52:00 AM

Medical Board Sues Test Preparation Company for Theft of Trade Secrets - The Physician Certification Test Questions!

By Todd

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the American Board of Internal Medicine announced yesterday that it has filed a suit against a North Jersey company that provided test preparation for doctors.

The suit, alleging copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets, accuses the company of stealing test questions with help from doctors taking the certification tests.

The suit was filed in December in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Arora Board Review in Livingston, N.J., its principal Rajender K. Arora, and Anise K. Kachadourian, a practicing physician. The court entered a preliminary injunction against the defendants on Dec. 23.

The company's Web site was down and "undergoing changes" yesterday. Arora and Kachadourian could not be reached for comment.

The American Board of Internal Medicine administers exams that evaluate doctors' knowledge and skills. While doctors can practice medicine without them, many hospitals and insurance companies require that doctors be board-certified, said Hara Jacobs, the ABIM's lawyer. The tests are protected by copyright law.

Physicians paid between $1,000 and $1,495 for Arora Board Review courses.

U.S. Marshals, ABIM security, and attorneys seized "infringing" materials at Rajender Arora's home last month, the ABIM said. In its suit, ABIM estimates that the company "stole, copied and disseminated" about 1,000 test questions, Jacobs said.

The suit contends the company obtained questions from doctors who took the test. Arora took and failed the exam seven times and Kachadourian took it and failed 10 times, Jacobs said.
She said she could not divulge how ABIM plans to deal with doctors who aided the company.

We have some doubts whether test questions, obtained from test takers, constitute trade secrets under any commonly accepted definition of that term. But the allegation is an interesting one and we'll keep an eye on this one for you.


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