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Breaking News: Apple Sues Its Own Global Supply Manager for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

In Breaking News, Criminal Theft of Trade Secrets, Fun with Trade Secrets, Trade Secrets News on August 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm
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Apple Inc. filed suit on Friday against one of its Global Supply Managers alleging that he had “abused his position, violated Apple policies, and broken the law by stealing Apple’s proprietary, trade secret and other confidential information and converting it to his own benefit.”   Complaint ¶ 1.  The case is Apple Inc. v. Devine, et al., CV10-03563 PVT (N.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2010).  Defendants are Paul S. Devine and CPK Engineering, Inc.  Apple alleges that it paid Devine over $614,000 in salary and $51,076 in bonus compensation and issued him 4,500 Apple stock options and 900 shares of Apple restricted stock.

Shannon Henson at Law360 reports that Apple served Devine on the day he appeared in court on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived property.

Apple claims that it investigated Devine since April 2010, and during the course of that investigation, discovered an “Entourage database and cache of e-mail from Devine’s personal Hotmail and Gmail e-mail accounts stored on Devine’s Apple-supplied laptop hard drive.”  Id. ¶ 16.  “These e-mails also confirmed that Devine had demanded and received over a million dollars in illicit payments, kickbacks, bribes, and other things of value (which Devine sometimes refers to in e-mail correspondence as ‘samples’) from numerous suppliers, and had concealed his scheme from Apply over the course of several years.”

Apple alleges 12 separate causes of action (the complaint was carefully pled, but several of the causes of action are likely susceptible to dismissal on a 12(b)(6) motion).

UPDATE: Kaedar Electronics Acknowledges Paying Brokerage Commission

UPDATE: Kaedar Electronics Suspends Employee

Judge and Attorneys

The case has been assigned to Magistrate Judge Patricia V. Trumbull of the Northern District of California.

Attorneys for plaintiff Apple Inc. are George A. Riley, Sharon M. Bunzel, Aaron M. Rofkahr, and Jean B. Niehaus of O’Melveny & Myers in San Francisco.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Devine, case number 10-cr-00603, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The civil suit is Apple Inc. v. Devine et al., case number 10-cv-03563, in the same court.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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Counterpunch! Countersuit in UFC Trade Secrets Case

In Fun with Trade Secrets, Trade Secrets News on August 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

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Kris Karkoski reports that, after being sued by the UFC for allegedly acquiring trade secrets, Bellator has filed a cross-complaint against the UFC.  Bellator apparently accuses the “UFC of casting Jonathan Brookins to The Ultimate Fighter 12 while the lightweight was still under contract with Bellator.”

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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$26 Million Verdict in Florida Trade Secrets Trial

In Trade Secrets News on July 31, 2010 at 12:41 am
The biggest monster dump truck in the world 2
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An Eastern District of Virginia jury returned a $26 million verdict for Florida-based mining tire design company Tire Engineering and Distribution, LLC and CEO Jordan Fishman in a trade secret case.   Plaintiffs accused the Chinese firm Shandong LingLong Rubber Co Ltd and Dubai distributor Al Dobowi Tyre Co LLC of conspiring with former Alpha Executive Sam Vance in 2005 to steal Fishman’s unique, proprietary designs for underground mining tires.  Read a news report here.  Vance failed to make an appearance.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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Former General Motors Employee Indicted for Conspiring to Steal Hybrid Technology Secrets

In Criminal Theft of Trade Secrets, Trade Secrets News on July 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm
SHANGHAI, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 16:  GM China Pres...
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On Thursday, a former employee at General Motors and her husband were indicted in federal court in Detroit for allegedly conspiring to steal secrets from G.M. relating to hybrid technology.  Read the article here.  A press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan states that Shannon Du and her husband, Yu Qin conspired to “possess trade secret information of General Motors Company relating to hybrid vehicles, knowing that the information had been stolen, converted, or obtained without authorization.”  “The indictment alleges that DU, while employed with GM, provided GM trade secret information relating to hybrid vehicles to her husband, QIN, for his benefit and for the benefit of a company, Millennium Technology International Inc. (MTI), that the defendants owned and operated.”

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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Third Circuit Upholds Injunction: Twinkies Will Not Yet Be Crunchy on the Outside and Soft in the Middle

In Fun with Trade Secrets, Trade Secrets News on July 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm
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The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction yesterday blocking an expert on nooks on crannies from jumping to rival Hostess Brands, Inc.  The case is Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc v. Botticella, U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 10-1510.   Michael L. Banks of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Joseph Anclien of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP appeared for oral argument.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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