Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 5/24/2006 01:18:00 PM

Calence v. Dimension Data -- Was a Mole Siphoning Trade Secrets?

An interesting press release -- I know, I know, you have to be careful about press releases -- from Calence LLC about its continuing lawsuit against Dimension Data Holdings, plc (a South African-based networking, security and storage company) and Dimension's U.S. subsidiary. Calence is a company that builds and manages Internet-based voice and data networks. The lawsuit arises out of an alleged raid of Calence's 14-person Seattle office earlier this year.

The amended complaint charges that defendants violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, illegally stole Calence trade secrets, and asserts other claims as well. Interestingly, it also claims that the General Manager of the Seattle office operated as a mole for Dimension and that defendants left with 32,000 pages of Calence confidential data and computer data, including transfer information about Calence customers, potential customers, and business operations.

The release quotes Calence's chairman and CEO, Michael Fong: "One thing is true across the entire technology sector -- your people and your intellectual property are your most valuable assets. We believe this lawsuit is the latest powerful reminder that the poaching of personnel and intellectual property has rapidly become one of the most sensitive issues in our industry."

Hard to disagree with that.

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