AMD: Four People Stole 100,000 Documents, Then Joined NVIDIA

Trade secrets allegedly made their way into the latter's hands

Samsung and LG aren't the only ones accusing one another of technology theft. Advanced Micro Devices has just made the claim that NVIDIA came into the possession of a good number of confidential files.

AMD is walking a fine line here. The company isn't accusing NVIDIA of tech theft per se, rather four of its employees, which are also former AMD workers.

During 2011 and 2012, AMD fired many people, while many up and left by their own initiative. These workers operated in all levels of the company, from high-ranking staff to low-level engineers.

The four that AMD has a bone to pick with are Robert Feldstein, Manoo Desai, Nicholas Kociuk, and Richard Hagen.

AMD claims that they stole over 100,000 confidential files when they left to join NVIDIA, using portable storage devices.

“[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,” the company claims.

AMD says it has forensic evidence of this occurring and that the men are guilty of breaching the “no-solicitation of employees” agreements, as well as non-disclosure agreements, they had signed when getting hired, years before.

“This is an extraordinary case of trade secret transfer/misappropriation and strategic employee solicitation,” AMD writes in its complaint. The full document can be read here.

In addition to stealing documents, AMD writes, the accused also tried to lure other employees to NVIDIA's side while clearing out evidence that they ever raided the database.

That they used Google to search for ways of copying and deleting large numbers of files adds an extra layer of credibility to the complaint.

The Massachusetts court has already ordered the four to prepare their computers and storage devices for forensic evaluation. They were also ordered not to dispose of any files that may be relevant, or to otherwise impede further inquiries.

NVIDIA isn't likely to suffer any direct damage from all this, but its association with its new employees may taint its image anyway, should AMD be proven right about them.

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