AMD is taking four ex-employees to court for allegedly stealing sensitive documents before jumping ship to work at competing graphics chip maker Nvidia. The number of files transferred exceeds 100,000, according to the company, and contain trade secret materials relating to "obviously confidential, proprietary, and/or developing technology and/or highly confidential business strategy."
The most senior person accused in AMD's lawsuit filed in Massachussetts is Robert Feldstein, who was the vice president of strategic development at AMD until his departure in July 2012. ZDNet notes that Feldstein "helped broker major contracts to see AMD technology launch in the next-generation range of games consoles, including the Xbox, PlayStation, and the Wii U, before he left for Nvidia."
AMD claims it has forensic evidence of Feldstein using two external storage devices to copy two licensing agreements with "significant customers", an outline of proposed licensing strategies, and his emails.
Along with former manager Richard Hagen he's also said to have recruited Manoo Desai, who then recruited Nicolas Kociuk and perhaps additional AMD employees to leave for competitor Nvidia, constituting an alleged violation of their "no-solicitation of employees" agreement.
Among other evidence AMD is citing are suggestions that some of the four employees discussed how to “manipulate and eliminate certain data” on their computers prior to leaving the company, and one of them even searched the web for ways to "copy and/or delete large numbers of documents."
AMD was awarded a temporary restraining order over the four employees, ordering the preservation of any copies of AMD materials they may have and any computers or devices they own. The company is seeking for an undisclosed amount in damages, along other trial-related fees, and says that “unless injunctive relief is granted” it will be “irreparably harmed in a manner not fully compensable by money damages.”