CHIPMAKER Intel has accused a former engineer of attempting to steal 'secrets' related to its 3D XPoint technology to pass on to rival Micron.
In a lawsuit filed in Sacremento on Tuesday, Intel alleges that Doyle Rivers, a former engineer who worked at the firm's Folsom campus, "secretly" accepted a job with Micron and tried to steal confidential info on his way out, Gov Tech reports.
The "top secret" info related to the company's 3D XPoint memory technology and the processes for developing, which "are not written in any textbook or taught in any school," according to Intel.
"In September 2018, Rivers secretly accepted an engineering position with Micron and then, as he prepared to leave Intel for that job, engaged in a covert and calculated effort to collect Intel's confidential, proprietary, and trade secret technical and personnel information," the lawsuit alleges.
"A few days before he left Intel, Rivers tried to access and copy a 'top secret' designated Intel file that Intel's electronic security system blocked from being copied.
"The 'top secret' Intel file that Rivers attempted to download related to Intel's independent, highly confidential work to productize 3D XPoint into its Optane line of products and was not something that was shared with anyone outside Intel, including anyone at Micron."
While Intel's in-house security software prevented Rivers from making off with the documents, he allegedly managed to escape with a selection of personal files, before "aggressively" attempting to lure other Intel colleagues to join him at his new job at Micron.
Intel's complaint went on to say that it then sent a letter to Rivers demanding the USB drive be returned, but claims "Rivers never responded to Intel, nor did he return the device. Instead, he handed the USB device over to his new employer."
And when the chipmaker eventually got its mitts on the USB, a forensic investigator found the device had been wiped clean, the suit says.
Intel says it made "the reasonable request" to have an independent investigator inspect Rivers' home computer to be certain no Intel data remained on it. The complaint states Intel set a deadline of November 16 for Rivers to agree to this, but he has not responded, forcing Intel to turn to the courts instead.
"Intel has invested billions of dollars in the development of the intellectual property critical to its success in some of the most competitive industries in the world," the chipmaker said in a statement.
"We place great faith and trust in our current and former employees, but we have an obligation to protect our intellectual property and other proprietary information, and we will not hesitate to act to prevent their misappropriation." µ
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