According to legal documents obtained by tech site Extremetech, four former employees of hardware company AMD are facing charges of industrial espionage over allegations they stole "thousands of confidential documents" before leaving to work at rival company Nvidia.
The four named in the suit are Robert Feldstein, Manoo Desai, Nicholas Kociuk and Richard Hage. Feldstein has long been a key part of first ATi and later (when bought out) AMD's console push, first playing a key role in securing the company's contract to supply graphics hardware for the Xbox 360, and more recently for deals over the Wii U, Durango and PlayStation 4/Orbis.
It's alleged that Feldstein "transferred sensitive AMD documents, and in the next six months, the three defendants either did the same thing, violated ‘no-solicitation of employees' promises, or both - all obvious violations of common law, statute, and/or contracts with AMD."
To back up the accusations, AMD claim they have forensic evidence revealing that 10,000 files were stolen, covering "confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret materials related to developing technology".
AMD also accuse Feldstein and Hagen of first recruiting Desai and Kociuk to assist them, then attempting to recruit other AMD employees to do the same.
The full list of accusations levelled against the four (or some of the four) includes:
- Misappropriation of trade secrets - Violation of unfair competition laws - Computer fraud - Breach of employee's duty of loyalty - Breach of contract - Conspiracy
AMD is hoping to recover the files stolen and has been granted a restraining order against the four.
Note that the suit is only being brought against the four individuals — not Nvidia.
We've contacted the parties involved for further information, and will update if we hear back.
Case Documents Industrial espionage: AMD files suit against former employees for alleged document theft [Extremetech] AMD accuses former top employees of stealing over 100,000 documents [Ars Technica]