Apple sues ex-staff for allegedly stealing trade secrets

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Apple Inc. says it has sued its former staff, Simon Lancaster, for allegedly misappropriating the company’s trade secrets and selling them to an outside media contact for personal benefits.

The lawsuit is filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California.

The company said Lancaster, who worked for around 11 years at Apple, allegedly abused his senior position and trust to systematically disseminate Apple’s sensitive trade secret information.

Apple is seeking injunctive relief, damages, and other appropriate relief to stop Lancaster’s alleged misappropriation, disclosure, and potential use of Apple’s confidential and trade secret materials.

The firm said he allegedly accessed internal meetings and documents outside the scope of his job’s responsibilities containing Apple’s trade secrets.

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According to the company, the trade secrets Lancaster sent to the media correspondent for publication included details of unreleased Apple hardware products.

Others are the unannounced feature changes to existing hardware products and future product announcements, all of which Apple guards closely.

Lancaster started working at Apple in 2008, as an Advanced Materials Lead and Product Design Architect. He resigned on Nov. 1, 2019.

He then joined Arris Composites, a manufacturer of next-gen composites for mass market products.

Apple claimed it was likely that Lancaster’s misuse of its trade secrets continued to this day because after his resignation, he started working at a company that served as a vendor for Apple under a vendor service deal.

The company alleged that portions of the trade secret information Lancaster misappropriated related directly to his role at his new employer. (dpa/NAN)

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