Intel sues former employee it claims stole IP

Glenn W. Peterson

Anyone in Sacramento who might dismiss an intellectual property lawsuit as being frivolous litigation does not understand the impact that IP can have. Should an employee take office supplies home with them, those things can be easily replaced (at a relatively minor expense). If an employee steals IP, they may threaten both a company’s standing in its market as well as the proprietary information that makes it unique. Couple this with the amount of time, effort and money that companies put into developing IP, and it may come as little surprise why those choose to defend it so vigorously.

One need only look at a recent lawsuit filed by the technology giant Intel to confirm this fact. The company chose to sue one of its former employees for stealing valuable intellectual property related to a billion-dollar project that it has been developing. In the lawsuit, Intel representatives claim that the man, who left the company for rival Micron, downloaded sensitive information regarding the new technology on to a USB drive. Intel and Micron had collaborated to a certain point on the development of the technology, but have since separated in preparation to create final products to take to market. The lawsuit claims that the former employee gave the USB drive to Micron, but that a forensic investigator later discovered that it had been wiped clean. The man’s attorney claimed the information had been stored on his home computer. After being denied access to inspect the computer, Intel chose to sue.

Given all that may be at stake in this case and others like it, companies worried about having their IP exploited may want to take any measure to ensure that does not happen. Securing the services of an experienced IP lawyer may go far in protecting their interests.