Employees leave one company to work for another every day in Georgia, with no detrimental impact upon anyone involved. However, if that employee has extensive knowledge of inner company workings, he or she could cause a great deal of damage when leaving to work for a competitor. One recent lawsuit involving two well-known tech companies alleges just that, saying that a former employee of one of the companies misused trade secrets and intellectual property when he began working for the other.
Did an employee steal sensitive files?
According to the lawsuit, the former employee used to work for computer chip making giant, Intel. Early last year, he left his position there to work for popular software and computer company, Microsoft. Intel claims that the employee used two different USB drives to copy and save thousands of sensitive company documents from a company-issued laptop.
In addition, Intel’s suit says that the employee was privy to valuable company trade secrets. It believes that the employee used this knowledge to benefit Microsoft when negotiating with his old employer on behalf of his new one. Intel says it conducted an internal investigation that turned up evidence of the existence of the drives. It says that the employee denied knowing the whereabouts of either drive. Intel requested more information from Microsoft, which reported that one of the USB drives had indeed been used on the employee’s company computer as well as at his place of work.
Legal protection for sensitive company information
Though this is an extreme example, it highlights just how crucial it is for a Georgia business to protect its intellectual property, including trade secrets and company documentation. It can cost a business a great deal to have this type of information compromised to a competitor. One of the most effective means of protecting company property is by working with a business law attorney who knows how to generate employment contracts as well as handle any issues that may arise from theft of intellectual property.