If Silicon Valley were to color code the tech industry's legal climate the way Homeland Security labels the threat level, then we'd all be seeing red. This week alone we've seen Steve Jobs sued for securities fraud, Google ordered to turn over YouTube viewing data, four Chinese companies fined for selling fake NEC keyboards , a convicted BitTorrent seed farmer stare at a 10 year prision sentence, a fired CEO taking his former employer to court for allegedly snooping his personal Yahoo account, and more . If that's not enough content to keep Law and Order: Silicon Valley up and running during the next writer's strike, then just wait another week or two and you might be able to fill an entire season's worth.
The latest legal drama involves high level espionage between HP and IBM, one of the few remaining scandals not yet covered in recent news. Specifically, HP's former VP is being indicted for allegedly leaking trade secrets from his former employer IBM to HP executives. According to court documents, Atul Malhotra, who was the director of IBM global printer sales between 1997 and 2006, requested and received a multi-page confidential memo from IBM, which authorities claim he emailed to an HP senior vice president two months later after being hired by HP. The subject line read " For Your Eyes Only ."
Only Malhotra knows what he hoped to accomplish with the alleged email, but whatever it was, HP wanted no part of it. Emma McCulloch, a spokeswoman for Palo Alto-based HP, released a statement saying " The activity with which Malhotra is charged was in direct violation of clear HP policies, including HP's standards of business conduct ." Malhotra has since been terminated from his position, but rest assured, we haven't seen the last of Silicon Valley's tech scandals.
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures