No company should ever overlook the value of trade secrets. Those that do rarely achieve or maintain market dominance. One company that has undoubtedly achieved market dominance is Apple, which in late 2020 achieved a market capitalization that eclipsed $2 trillion. One reason for Apple’s dominance is its legendary protection of its intellectual property, including its trade secrets. One former veteran product designer found out just how serious Apple is about protecting its trade secrets when Apple recently filed a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against the designer and his new employer alleging that the former product designer stole the company’s trade secrets to help his new employer, Arris Composites, and then leaked those secrets to the media to advance his own financial interests.
The former product design architect being accused of trade secret theft is Simon Lancaster who worked at Apple for more than 10 years and helped design the MacBook Pro that is nearly ubiquitous at coffee shops and college campuses across the country. The lawsuit accuses Lancaster of selling trade secrets and details concerning unreleased Apple products to an unnamed journalist in exchange for publicity for his own start-up company.
According to the Complaint, Lancaster used his seniority and position of trust to gain access to internal meetings and documents outside the scope of his job responsibilities that contained Apple’s trade secrets. He then allegedly fed those trade secrets to a journalist who published the insider information citing an unnamed “source at Apple.” The lawsuit does not reveal the identity of the journalist. Continue reading ›