AMD says former execs stole more than 100,000 secret documents before joining Nvidia

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AMD is levying serious allegations against four of its former employees, claiming that the high-level executives stole thousands of sensitive documents prior to leaving the company for rival chipmaker Nvidia. In a complaint filed Monday, AMD charged former VP of strategic development Bob Feldstein and managers Manoo Desai and Nicolas Kociuk with downloading more than 100,000 company files to external hard drives in the six months leading up to their departure. The company also accused the three men and manager Richard Hagen of attempting to recruit AMD employees after joining Nvidia, constituting an alleged violation of their "no-solicitation of employees" agreement.

Feldstein originally left the company in July, after having brokered major deals to get AMD hardware on the next Xbox, Playstation, and Wii U. At the time, it was rumored that Nvidia hired him in an attempt to gain ground in the gaming console market, with a company spokesperson saying Feldstein would "help us think through current and possible future technology licensing projects."

"An unfair advantage if improperly used or disclosed."

In its complaint, AMD claims that both Feldstein and Hagen recruited Desai, who then brought Kociuk "and perhaps additional AMD employees" to the rival chipmaker. AMD also claims to have forensically analyzed their computers, finding that, prior to their departure, they transferred "obviously confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret materials relating to developing technology and/or highly confidential business strategy" to external drives. The specific content of these materials remains unclear, though the company said they included "two licensing agreements with significant customers, and a document outlining proposed strategies to AMD's strategic licensing." Transferring these materials to Nvidia, the complaint says, would "provide an unfair advantage if improperly used or disclosed."

AMD is asking the US District Court of Massachusetts for injunctive relief, which would allow the company to recover the allegedly incriminating documents. The manufacturer also obtained a restraining order against the four defendants, forcing them to preserve all copies of AMD documents still in their possession for further analysis, and barring them from using or disclosing the materials in question.

The Verge
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