Intel this week sued a former engineer who left the company for Microsoft, alleging that he took trade secrets with him.
“In his new role at Microsoft, Gupta used the confidential information and trade secrets he misappropriated from Intel, deploying that information in head-to-head negotiations with Intel concerning customized product design and pricing for significant volumes of Xeon processors,” Intel’s legal filing notes.
Varun Gupta was an Intel engineer for 10 years before leaving for Microsoft in January 2020, according to a report in The Oregonian. The chipmaking giant alleges that Gupta took two USB drives containing trade secrets with him when he left and that one of them was accessed via a Microsoft-issued laptop.
Intel further notes in its suit that Gupta originally told the company that he didn’t know where one of the drives was, but that he later turned it over to Microsoft for analysis. The second drive, which contained Intel trade secrets was discarded, Gupta said.
Interestingly, Intel and Microsoft worked together to investigate the allegations. It was Microsoft, for example, that determined one of the USB drives was accessed on a Microsoft-issued laptop.
Intel seeks unspecified damages in its suit against Gupta, plus attorney fees. And it wants an injunction preventing Gupta from using or disclosing the trade secrets on the USB drive.
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