AMD sues former staff over claims they took confidential info to Nvidia

16 Jan, 2013

Four senior figures accused to stealing over 150,000 files when jumping ship.

AMD has initiated court proceedings against four former high-level employees who defected to rival chipmaker Nvidia, claiming they took hundreds of thousands of confidential documents with them.

The accused include senior figure Robert ‘Bob’ Feldstein who was VP of strategic development at AMD. He played a vital role in getting the AMD Radeon GPU into the Nintendo Wii U console and also helped to broker deals with Microsoft and Sony to get AMD chips included in the forthcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 devices.

In a detailed filing (below) AMD claims that Feldstein attached two external storage devices to his AMD machine on his last day at work.

He is said to have copied over “three highly confidential – two licensing agreements with significant customers, and a document outlining proposed strategies to AMD’s strategic licensing”.

Unsurprisingly, AMD claims that disclosing this information to Nvidia would provide an unfair advantage to its rival, especially as Feldman’s new job at Nvidia is VP of technology licensing.

AMD lawsuit by

Other defendants include former employees Manoo Desai, Nicolas Kociuk and Richard Hagen. Accusations levied against them range from copying and sharing confidential files to poaching staff, despite signing agreements stating they wouldn’t.

Desai is believed to have copied a folder called “Perforce” to an external device that had 200 files, most of them containing confidential information relating to AMD's latest generation of products.

Meanwhile, AMD claims Kociuk transferred 150,000 files two weeks before handing in his resignation, and that Hagen violated a non-solicitation agreement by actively persuading Desai to jump ship.

AMD has asked for a jury trial and unspecified damages which will be calculated at a later date. The firm has also asked for an injunction against the parties, which has been granted.

Feldstein, Desai and Kociuk will have their personal computer and storage equipment forensically evaluated and Hagen has been told to refrain from soliciting AMD employees to leave.

AMD will no doubt be seeking substantial damages, as it looks to start challenging firms such as Nvidia and Qualcomm for market share in the tablet market.

Read more about