Apple sues former MacBook designer for allegedly selling trade secrets
Simon Lancaster shared with an unnamed journalist, along with details on roadmaps for new products and updates
American multinational technology company Apple recently sued one of its former MacBook designers, alleging that he sold unreleased product details to a journalist in return for favourable coverage, after he left the company for a startup.
According to Mashable, Simon Lancaster had been Advanced Materials and Prototyping lead at Apple until he resigned in November 2019. The lawsuit accuses him of copying trade secrets from other projects so that he could supply them to an “outside media correspondent”, who is currently unnamed. After he left Apple, Lancaster joined Arris Composites as Head of Consumer Products. The company developed a system that was called Additive Molding. In it, composite structures could be manufactured with a mixture of continuously aligned fibres, electronics, and metallic components.
However, before leaving Lancaster allegedly used his position for gaining access to information about other products and projects underway there. The information that he took was later shared with an unnamed journalist, along with details on roadmaps for new products and updates.
Apple’s lawsuit claims that “Despite over a decade of employment at Apple, Lancaster abused his position and trust within the company to systematically disseminate Apple’s sensitive trade secret information in an effort to obtain personal benefits.
He used his seniority to gain access to internal meetings and documents outside the scope of his job’s responsibilities containing Apple’s trade secrets, and he provided these trade secrets to his outside media correspondent.”
As per Mashable, Apple has alleged violation of the Defense of Trade Secret Act, violation of the California Uniform Trade Secret Act, and a breach of a written contract. As well as requesting a trial by jury, it’s asking the court to grant it injunctive relief, damages proven at trial, punitive damages, restitution, and costs of the lawsuit.