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Former Intel Employee Accused of Stealing Confidential Files

September 16, 2008

Former Intel Employee Accused of Stealing Confidential Files

Daily Tech, September 12, 2008

Intellectual property. In many situations, it is the lifeblood of the organization. But what happens when a former employee is tries to provide your company’s sensitive electronic information to a competitor? Ask Intel!

A former Intel employee, Biswahoman Pani, allegedly resigned from Intel saying he had accepted a job with a hedge fund and that he would be using vacation time until his last day at the company. Intel later discovered that Pani had neither been on vacation nor taken a position at a hedge fund. Instead, Pani had started working with one of Intel’s fiercest competitors – AMD – more than one week before leaving his job at Intel.

“FBI Special Agent Timothy Russell said in an affidavit that in a search of Pani’s home it was found that Pani had more than 100 pages of sensitive Intel documents, including drawings of future Intel processors. The information would have greatly aided AMD if turned over to the rival company.

Intel spokeswoman Claudine Mangano told Boston.com, “Intellectual property is a critical asset for Intel. We basically asked the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate activities, and we are cooperating with that investigation.”

Pani has not been charged and insists that he didn’t do anything malicious with the data. Although he admitted to obtaining the files, he says he only used them to help his wife prepare for a new job at Intel.

The article makes an important point: “Intellectual property is one of the most closely guarded assets for most companies. Intellectual property is even more important in the technology industry where stolen information can give competitors a lead to market of months or even years.” The article underscores the need – particularly in fiercely competitive markets – to protect IP at any cost.

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