October 22, 2021

Apple is suing ex-employee for passing on trade secrets to the media

Apple has sued a former employee for leaking information about unreleased Apple products and features to a media contact. In exchange, the ex-employee would receive positive attention for his start-up, the claim says.

Apple sues ex-employee, says he leaked secrets to media

Apple has brought the case against its former Advanced Materials Lead and Product Design Architect to a court in San Jose . The company claims that the man worked closely with a media source at the end of 2018 and that they stole and published trade secrets in a coordinated manner. It would include details about unreleased hardware, future announcements and upcoming features of Apple products.

The collaboration with the reporter, according to the claims, was maintained and strengthened even after the man left Apple, in November 2019. On his last day, he would have put a large amount of secret documents from Apple’s company network on his personal computer. This information would also have helped him in the work for his start-up. Apple claims that removing the trade secrets has undermined the morale of the teams working on the products and favored competitors.

According to Apple Insider , this is Arris, a materials research company that is also a supplier to Apple. Apple claims the ex-employee told a third party that the journalist had agreed to publish an article about his start-up in exchange for information about Apple. That article should be about a “design veteran who worked at Apple for twelve years and who is leaving for an amazing  startup.”

The information he offered in return was about a product Apple calls “Project X” in the indictment. It is not known which medium it is that would have worked with the employee, but Apple Insider thinks that Project X is Apple’s augmented reality glasses or the AirPods Max.