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AMD Businesses The Courts

AMD Files Suit Against Former Employees For Alleged Document Theft 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the corporate-espionage-never-goes-out-of-style dept.
New submitter massivepanic writes "AMD has filed (and been granted) a request for immediate injunctive relief against multiple former employees that it alleges stole thousands of confidential documents. Named in the complaint (PDF) are Robert Feldstein, Manoo Desai, Nicholas Kociuk, and Richard Hagen. All four left AMD to work at Nvidia in the past year. The loss of Feldstein was particularly noteworthy, as he'd been the head of AMD's console initiatives for years. Feldstein was behind the work that landed AMD the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox Durango. He also worked closely with Microsoft during the Xbox 360s development cycle and brought that contract to ATI prior to AMD's acquisition."
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AMD Files Suit Against Former Employees For Alleged Document Theft

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  • Not really (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @01:21AM (#42600509)

    Since it is a civil case, they can't just go and send in the FBI to seize everything right away. So the court is formally telling these people: Your computers are evidence, you must treat them as such. Should the people fail to do that, and erase things, they could be charged with tampering with evidence.

    In civil cases (sometimes criminal too depending on the circumstances) you commonly see things like this, where the court will instruct someone that they are not to alter or throw away something because it is going to be evidence. Sometimes courts also will order additional retention.

    Like say your company doesn't keep e-mail. All employees have to use POP and the server doesn't store anything. That's legal, in most cases you don't have to keep e-mail for records, if you don't want. Then a case comes up that involves it. The court might order you to retain all e-mail, for a time, because of that, though it isn't your standard policy.

    Without this order, the employees would be free to wipe their computers if they wished. You and I can do a SATA secure erase on our disks at any time, for any reason, if we want and no legal trouble will come of that. It is our data, we do as we please (as an aside, you should do that on an SSD prior to reinstall, for performance reasons). These people cannot, temporarily, or they could get in trouble, because the court considers that what they have on their computers may be evidence and this order is why they cannot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @02:49AM (#42600893)

    My guess is this isn't an orchestrated defection. My guess is it is one of two things:

    1) Some morons figured that they could make it big doing this, stole the documents on their own, and went over to nVidia. Perhaps this is even a result of a tip from nVidia.

    2) This is a smokescreen on AMD's part, to try and keep these guys away from nVidia.

    I just don't find it likely that nVidia would buy them off to do this. Too much to lose, not enough to gain. While they might want the people, which is totally legal, the tech isn't worth the risk.

    I've worked with 2 of those people in my past life. One thing I'll say for sure is that these are absolutely no morons we're talking about. #2 is clearly the case. I remember the HR legal debrief person during the exit interview is a complete dick, making threats even though you have done nothing wrong, with all the scare tactics BS, asking over and over again if you were going to be joining NVidia. They try whatever they could to find out who you were going to be working for, even though you have complete right not to disclose. The guy did mention at one point that "it's a free country and you can work anywhere in the world you want". Yeah, sure, do I really need you to tell me that, jerk!? They're panicking because these are key people with years of experience at a company joining a rival.

    Now I'm wondering if these people get fired by NVidia, maybe they should work as 3rd party contractors, consulting for NVidia just to mess with AMD.

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