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January 18, 2013

AMD sues ex-employees over alleged data theft

Ex-employees accused of stealing over 100,000 files

By CBR Staff Writer

Chipmaker AMD has sued four ex-employees, alleging that they have stolen secret documents and trade secrets before joining its rival Nvidia.

AMD filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, US, saying that its ex-employees have taken over 100,000 electronic files relating to its graphics business before leaving the firm.

"This is an extraordinary case of trade secret transfer/misappropriation and strategic employee solicitation," AMD said in the filing.

The transferred information included confidential information such as licensing agreements with significant customers, proposed plans regarding licensing and technical information on new products and the company’s new procedures.

The lawsuit names vice president Robert Feldstein and managers Manoo Desai, Nicolas Kociuk, and Richard Hagen. AMD claims the men are all in breach of contract and in violation of trade secret laws and unfair competition laws.

US district judge Timothy Hillman ordered three former employees to refrain from using or revealing any AMD confidential data, while some of them were also ordered to cease from soliciting directly or indirectly AMD employees to leave their jobs.

The chipmaker is also seeking financial damages and a warning order.

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