An employee leaves Company A and starts a new one, Company B, which is in turn acquired by Company C, a competitor of Company A. Company C develops a laser sensor for self-driving cars. Company A sues, alleging the employee downloaded 14,000 files before departing, including information about laser sensors and supplier lists and manufacturing details.
How do you protect the company’s technology jewels? How do you limit and track access? How do you ensure that a new employee isn’t bringing something he or she shouldn’t have? How did the directors and managers allow this to happen, at both Company A and Company C? Is this information no longer a trade secret because Company A didn’t protect it well enough?