Monday, July 14, 2008

Former HP'er Pleads Guilty to Trade Secrets Violations

Atul Malhotra, a former Hewlett Packard Company employee, pleaded guilty last Friday to stealing trade secrets regarding pricing from IBM, where he had worked as a director of sales and business development in output management services for IBM Global Services for ten years. According to the press release from the Department of Justice:
In May 2006, Malhotra became a vice president of imaging and printing services for HP. According to plea documents, shortly after starting in his new position at HP, Malhotra shared IBM trade secrets with his superiors. On July 25, 2006, Malhotra sent an e-mail to an HP senior vice president with the subject, "For Your Eyes Only," and attached the trade secrets information for which he is charged with sharing. Two days later, on July 27, 2006, he sent an e-mail to another HP senior vice president with the subject, "For Your Eyes Only - confidential," and attached the same trade secrets information. The court documents also reveal that in the e-mail message, Malhotra noted that knowledge of this information would help specific HP sales teams better understand their competitors' goals as the teams determined pricing for prospective deals.
The press release noted that both HP and IBM fully cooperated in the investigation, and, according to one report, HP terminated Malhotra after detecting his activity and turned over the relevant information to law enforcement.

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