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A former Intel employee who quit to work for AMD has been indicted in trade secrets theft

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Intel employee whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accused of stealing trade secrets from the company.

Biswamohan Pani, 33, allegedly was found with more than 100 pages of Intel documents, with 13 "top secret" file also discovered inside his residence.  Intel put more than $1 billion of research and development money into the documents Pani stole, which includes future CPU designs.

"The indictment was not a surprise," said Bradford Bailey, Pani's attorney.  "We knew it was coming.  We will enter a plea of not guilty when an arraignment date is set, and he will vigorously contest the charges because he is innocent."

Pani submitted his resignation at Intel in May 2008, and planned on working until June 11, but began working for Advanced Micro Devices on June 2.  When he started his job at AMD, he still had an Intel laptop and access to the internal Intel network.

During a search of his home in early July, the FBI found eight different documents that were classified as "secret," "top secret" and "confidential."  AMD did not request he steal the information or knew anything about his actions, the federal government believes.

"AMD has not been accused of wrongdoing, and the FBI has stated that there is no evidence that AMD had any involvement in or awareness of Mr. Pani's alleged actions," AMD said in a statement published by the Associated Press.

According to Pani, he took the files to help his wife work on a project, who is currently employed by Intel.  Intel quickly pointed out the files would have served no use for his wife.

Pani now faces four counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of trade secrets.  He faces up to 10 years on the single count of theft of trade secrets and up to 20 years for each count of wire fraud.



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By phxfreddy on 11/6/2008 11:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
I am an engineer. One guy + Documents does not get your that far. Overall strategy is much more useful....but that I think AMD can get pretty much at will.

Ever try to get a committee to keep a secret? Impossible. He should not have taken the stuff but realistically this charge does not hold water.




By afkrotch on 11/7/2008 6:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
Why wouldn't they be able to hit him with misappropriation. If he were smart, he should have returned anything Intel owned back to Intel before he started working at AMD.

I will agree that one guy and some documents wouldn't get AMD that far if they did have him get the documents. It'd be hard to make use of technology trade secrets in a constantly evolving field.

Kind of why Intel is doing their tick/tock strategy now. Trying to milk one type of technology for years on end doesn't work to well.


By aapocketz on 11/7/2008 9:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am an engineer. One guy + Documents does not get your that far. Overall strategy is much more useful....but that I think AMD can get pretty much at will. Ever try to get a committee to keep a secret? Impossible. He should not have taken the stuff but realistically this charge does not hold water.


I think it depends on the documents. I agree that its not like in the movies where you get a secret document and all of a sudden walk out your door with an Ironman suit or something.

Certain things cannot be patented easily, a chemical process for making high K dialectics for instance is hard to patent and even if you did, there is not much stopping the competition from modifying the design slightly and producing their own version. Those secrets can be quite valuable. Consider how fast the soviet union completed an atomic bomb after the US developed theirs? Many historians view it as greatly accelerated by soviet espionage efforts.


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