The technology news and information website Ars Technica reported that Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) filed a lawsuit against four former employees it alleges “collectively downloaded over 100,000 files onto external hard drives in the six months before leaving” to join competing graphics chip maker Nvidia. The company also alleges that the one former vice-president and three former managers violated a “no-solicitation of employees” promise by recruiting AMD employees after leaving for its rival.
AMD’s allegations include charges of misappropriation of trade secrets, violation of unfair competition laws, computer fraud, breach of employee’s duty of loyalty, breach of contract and conspiracy. The four defendants named in the lawsuit are Robert Feldstein, Richard Hagen, Manoo Desai and Nicolas Kociuk. According to Ars, Feldstein was the vice president of strategic development at AMD until his departure, and is the most senior person accused in AMD’s complaint. The company alleges that after Feldstein and Hagen left, they recruited Desai, who then recruited Kociuk “and perhaps additional AMD employees to leave AMD for competitor Nvidia.”
The business technology news website ZDNet reported that the filing specifically notes that “three highly confidential files — two licensing agreements with significant customers, and a document outlining proposed strategies to AMD’s strategic licensing — were transferred.” AMD claims that the information would “provide an unfair advantage if improperly used or disclosed” if used by Nvidia. The complaint also alleges that one of the managers “ran several Internet searches about how to copy and/or delete large numbers of documents.”
There are a number of very serious charges in this lawsuit, and businesses should know that they can also take legal action when a former employee violates a contract or shares trade secrets with a competitor. You can find more information about intellectual property litigation by visiting our website. If you are seeking legal representation for your own claim involving breach of contract or the misappropriation of confidential information, fill out the form on this page or contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 to have our Los Angeles breach of contract attorney review your case.
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