Apple settles trade secret lawsuit against ex-staffer

Lancaster has been barred from “disclosing, communicating, transferring, discussing, or using any confidential Information, in any form, without Apple’s express prior written authorisation”.
Representative image
Representative image

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple has settled a lawsuit against a former employee for allegedly stealing trade secrets and sharing those with a journalist.

The tech giant had filed a lawsuit against Simon Lancaster, a former design architect with the company, in March 2021.

“Apple and Lancaster have reached an agreement to resolve this matter, which includes a monetary payment by Lancaster to Apple and the dismissal of the claims in this case,” read the settlement order in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Lancaster has been barred from “disclosing, communicating, transferring, discussing, or using any confidential Information, in any form, without Apple’s express prior written authorisation”.

According to Apple’s earlier lawsuit, Lancaster shared details of unreleased hardware, unannounced feature changes, and future product announcements with the correspondent.

Apple also alleged that Lancaster downloaded confidential documents just before leaving the company in November 2019 that would “assist his new employer”, Arris Composites. Lancaster quit Arris in 2021, it reports.

“Despite over a decade of employment at Apple, Lancaster abused his position and trust within the company to systematically disseminate Apple’s sensitive trade secret information in an effort to obtain personal benefits,” Apple had said in its lawsuit.

“He used his seniority to gain access to internal meetings and documents outside the scope of his job’s responsibilities containing Apple’s trade secrets, and he provided these trade secrets to his outside media correspondent,” the company added.

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