Tech startup accused of theft of trade secrets

On Behalf of | May 7, 2022 | business litigation |

A North Carolina company’s proprietary and closely held information is some of its most valuable property, and steps should be taken to ensure that it remains with its rightful owner. The protection of trade secrets is critical, especially in the tech industry when a company’s competitive edge is crucial to its long-term success. Tech giant Apple recently sued a startup company for this reason, alleging that the smaller company stole trade secrets related to chip design. 

The implications of trade secret theft 

In its complaint, Apple states that a tech start-up, Rivos, used former employees to access sensitive information, and that it was all part of a coordinated campaign. Rivos is also accused of poaching Apple employees in the chip design division that had access to certain information. Some of the information stolen involved unreleased design plans. 

According to the complaint, Apple states that Rivos had Apple employees use encrypted programs on their phones for communication. Apple believes at least two of its employees took gigabytes worth of information to its competitor. As seen in this case, trade secret theft is serious, and a company has the right to take immediate action against the responsible party if it happens. 

Protecting long-term business interests 

A business has the right to protect its proprietary and secret information as if they were valuable physical assets. Nondisclosure and noncompete agreements are only two examples of how companies can prevent those with access to their trade secrets from taking them to a competing business. If this does happen, however, a North Carolina company may take quick and decisive legal action to recoup losses and minimize long-term damage.