Apple Sues Former Employee Over Leaking Trade Secrets to Reporter

Generic image of lawsuit

Apple has sued former employee Simon Lancaster, saying he leaked trade secrets to a reporter in exchange for favors. The lawsuit [PDF] was filed against Simon Lancaster in US District Court for the Northern District of California (via ArsTechnica).

Apple Sues Simon Lancaster

Mr. Lancaster worked at the company for 11 years as Advanced Materials Lead and Product Design Architect. He then left Apple to work at Arris Composites in 2019. Arris boasted that Mr. Lancaster “was instrumental in the development of the 13″/15″ Macbook Pro with the touch bar, and the design of unreleased Apple products.”

The unnamed reporter, cited in the lawsuit as “The Correspondent,” allegedly gave favors in exchange for internal Apple information:

For example, Lancaster proposed that the Correspondent provide favorable coverage of a startup company in which Lancaster was an investor as a quid pro quo. Lancaster even recruited the Correspondent to serve as his personal investigator. In one instance, Lancaster requested that the Correspondent explore a rumor that could prove harmful to a company in which Lancaster had invested.

Apple says Mr. Lancaster, on his last day, downloaded a trove of internal documents from the company’s network that “would benefit his new company.” Arris Composites isn’t named in the lawsuit but does have a vendor service agreement with Apple.

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