Apple sues former Indian-origin employee for stealing chip secrets. technology news

San Francisco/New Delhi: Apple has sued Santa Clara-based “stealth-mode” semiconductor startup Rivos and two former employees, Indian-born Bhasi Cathamana and Ricky Wayne, for allegedly stealing trade secrets to build a chip lineup. has done.

In a lawsuit filed in California, the iPhone maker said that Rivos allegedly launched a “coordinated campaign” to attract Apple employees and encourage them to copy confidential documents before leaving.

From September 2013 to August 2021, Apple employed Cathamana for approximately 8 years.

“During his tenure with Apple, Cathamana was a CPU implementation engineer responsible for managing the CPU design for Apple’s SoCs (System on Chips),” the lawsuit states.

Kathamana, a graduate of Osmania University, was responsible, among other things, for designing and developing proprietary and trade secret physical structures to perform key functions in Apple’s ARM-based SoCs.

The lawsuit alleges that before leaving Apple in August 2021, Cathamana copied a series of spreadsheets, presentations and text files to an external USB drive named “APPLE_WORK_DOCS”.

Wayne also allegedly accessed files related to Apple trade secrets, including “files relating to unpublished SoC designs of Apple, and then made a copy of the hard drive of his company-issued computer just before leaving the company”.

“The vast amount of information, the highly sensitive nature of that information, and the fact that these employees are now performing similar duties to a competitor with access to some of Apple’s most valuable trade secrets, give Apple some Leave with options,” the lawsuit read.

Rivos was founded in May 2021 to design a full stack computing solution based on custom-designed low instruction set computer-based SoCs that will compete with Apple’s ARM SoCs.

“Since June 2021, more than 40 former Apple employees have joined Rivos. Rivos continues to target Apple engineers, with more departures this month. Most of these former Apple employees were design engineers , which were developing Apple’s state-of-the-art proprietary and trade secret SoC design,” Apple said in its lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Rivos encouraged employees to copy work-related documents before leaving.

“Rivos launched a coordinated campaign to target Apple employees with access to Apple proprietary and trade secret information regarding Apple’s SoC designs,” the lawsuit claims.

Many employees who left Apple to join Rivos were “trusted by Apple with its most sensitive trade secret SoC design and technology”.

“Many people have taken Apple’s proprietary and trade secret information with them,” said the company, which is also asking for monetary damages.

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