McAfee sues former sales team over alleged leak of trade secrets to rival firm

The attitude to things like non-compete clauses is different for Europeans and such court actions rarely if ever succeed. It’s very difficult to stop your valuable IP walking out of the door, but if they also take client data that’s a breach of GDPR principles…:

McAfee has launched a lawsuit against three former staff members over an alleged conspiracy to steal trade secrets for the benefit of their new employer, rival firm Tanium.

As first reported by CyberScoop, the court case, filed with the Eastern District Court of Texas, claims that Jennifer Kinney, Alan Coe, and Percy Tejeda, highly-positioned sales staff who knew the recipe of McAfee’s “secret sauce” in sales tactics and business strategy, allegedly conspired to steal confidential information.

The complaint seeks damages for the cybersecurity firm not only for trade secret misappropriation, but also “breach of contract, tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy.”

According to court documents, late last year, Tejeda resigned from McAfee and moved over to Tanium, a rival endpoint security firm in California. After settling in with his new company, Tejeda then allegedly enticed Kinney to also resign and join Tanium in 2019.

McAfee did not appreciate poaching and so contacted Tejeda with a reminder that his contract stipulated he was not meant to solicit McAfee employees. A letter was then sent from Tanium’s legal team informing the company that another sales executive, Coe, was also joining Tanium.

As the team becoming established at the rival company was a mirror image of who used to work at McAfee, the cybersecurity firm then investigated PCs used by Kinney and Coe to see if any confidential information had been taken prior to their departure.

McAfee alleges that this is the case, and the two “engaged in a pattern of accessing confidential McAfee information both before and after announcing their resignations from McAfee.”


Original Article