AMD claims some ex-employees stole secret files before going to NVIDIA

In July 2012, it was reported that Bob Feldstein, the corporate vice president of business development at AMD, left the company to go to work at NVIDIA.  Now AMD has filed a lawsuit against Feldstein and three other ex-AMD workers claiming that they stole over 100,000 secret documents from the company.

ZDNet.com reports that the lawsuit, filed on Monday, alleges that Feldstein worked with ex-AMD managers Manoo Desai, Nicolas Kociuk and Richard Hagen to take the electronic files, which AMD says includes "obviously confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret materials relating to developing technology and/or highly confidential business strategy."

AMD says that some of the files that were taken include "two licensing agreements with significant customers, and a document outlining proposed strategies to AMD's strategic licensing." AMD says that if these secrets were revealed to a competitor, such as NVIDIA, it would offer them "an unfair advantage."

AMD is seeking a temporary restraining order against the four people listed in the lawsuit along with a court order to preserve any copies of the electronic documents they may have taken. So far, there's been no comment from the four ex-AMD employees nor has there been any comment from NVIDIA.

Before leaving AMD, Feldstein was credited for securing agreements with Microsoft to have its Radeon graphics chips inside the Xbox 360 game console, along with the Wii and Wii U consoles from Nintendo. It's rumored that the next game consoles from Sony and Microsoft will also have AMD made processors and graphics chips inside.

Source: ZDNet.com | Image via AMD

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8 Comments

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shock horror, they've stolen secret papers to allow Nvidia to go back to a larger fab process, run hotter and make flakier driversets <the horror of it all> they'll now be a level playing field

only joking

Want ever happened to the "do not compete clause" that states you cannot work for or with any business competitors for a term of usually 1 year, which is usually long enough to make info obtained on the job irrelevant?

Invizibleyez said,
Want ever happened to the "do not compete clause" that states you cannot work for or with any business competitors for a term of usually 1 year, which is usually long enough to make info obtained on the job irrelevant?

Good question. From what I have "heard", DNC clauses are pretty much useless when a company makes them with private individuals,, but when making them with other businesses it is easier to win in court.

Invizibleyez said,
Want ever happened to the "do not compete clause" that states you cannot work for or with any business competitors for a term of usually 1 year, which is usually long enough to make info obtained on the job irrelevant?

Do-not-compete clauses are unenforceable in California. Many have credited this legal quirk for innovation in Silicon Valley.

Invizibleyez said,
Want ever happened to the "do not compete clause" that states you cannot work for or with any business competitors for a term of usually 1 year, which is usually long enough to make info obtained on the job irrelevant?

Do not compete is rendered invalid as soon as your contract is over At least in Europe.
Basically they can only force you not to work for competition WHILE you work for them .

Don't know in the US but in the EU such clauses aren't acceptable anyway... Not unless the former employee is on gardening leave.