updated 07:10 pm EST, Wed January 16, 2013
Over 100,000 documents purloined, contain confidential trade info
Chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is suing one former vice president and three ex-managers originally from its Boxborough plant, who left the company and all took positions at Nvidia in 2012. The suit claims that the four employees copied more than 100,000 confidential documents and trade secrets and provided them to Nvidia. AMD is demanding the return of the files, which the company believes cover future AMD releases and contracts with customers.
Vice President Robert Feldstein, managers Manoo Desai, Nicolas Kociuk, and Richard Hagen are accused of breach of contract, violation of trade secret laws and unfair competition laws, and are infringing on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the filing with the US District Court of Massachusetts. The court has granted a temporary restraining order against the four men, demanding the preservation of any AMD materials they may still have in their possession, plus any hardware or data storage devices they may possess. Furthermore, the group is prohibited from using or revealing any information deemed confidential by AMD.
"The volume of materials that these three defendants collectively transferred to storage devices, each of which is unaccounted for as they left to work for AMD's competitor, exceeds 100,000 electronic files." AMD also said in the filing that the files "include obviously confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret materials relating to developing technology and/or highly confidential business strategy."
The filing claims that one of the managers "ran several Internet searches about how to copy and/or delete large numbers of documents." The information gleaned was allegedly then used to copy the majority of the purloined files.
ZDNet was told by AMD that it believes "the facts are clearly outlined in our pleadings and are supported by forensic evidence. The pleadings are publicly available. Current and former AMD employees are contractually required to honor the ongoing confidentiality and non-solicitation obligations each agreed to while employed with us. As this case is now in litigation, we have no further comment at this time."