Advanced Micro Devices Sues Ex-Workers Over Trade Secrets

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) won a court order barring ex-employees who went to competing chipmaker Nvidia Corp. from disclosing trade secrets or soliciting former colleagues to join them.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Hillman said in his order that AMD may win its lawsuit claiming misappropriation of confidential information, according to a filing yesterday in Boston.

AMD, based in Sunnyvale, California, accused ex-employees of taking sensitive company documents when they went to work for Nvidia. (NVDA) The former employees transferred more than 100,000 electronic files pertaining to AMD’s graphics-processor business in the days before their departure, AMD said in its complaint filed in January. The employees also allegedly recruited other AMD workers to leave the company.

“The circumstantial evidence presented by AMD is compelling,” Hillman said in his order. “They all made copies of confidential AMD information before leaving AMD, retained that information, and immediately began working at a significant competitor. AMD therefore has a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits with regard to its claims for misappropriation of trade secrets.”

The preliminary injunction replaces a temporary restraining order granted after the suit was filed.

Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, isn’t a defendant in the suit.

The case is Advanced Micro Devices v. Feldstein, 13-cv-40007, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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