Apple sues 11-year-old MacBook designer for allegedly stealing trade secrets from a journalist

Apple is suing Simon Lancaster, a former product design architect at the company, and accusing him of selling trade secrets and details about non-released Apple products to an unnamed media correspondent. Lancaster apparently did so in hopes of gaining notoriety for his next venture after leaving Apple. AppleInsider first report on the legal filing.

“Tens of thousands of Apple employees work tirelessly every day on new products, services and features in the hope of delighting our customers and enabling them to change the world. The theft of ideas and confidential information undermines their efforts, which is detrimental to Apple and our customers, ”Apple said in a statement. The edge. “We take the individual’s deliberate theft of our trade secrets, the violation of our ethics and our policies, seriously, all for personal gain. We will do everything in our power to protect the innovations we love so much. ”

According to Apple’s case, Lancaster and its correspondent began communicating in 2018 about the possibility of obtaining information; the two then spent the next year in communication. Lancaster allegedly contacted his correspondent in the spring of 2019 and asked him to investigate rumors about a potential Apple product that could ‘mean trouble for my startup’. The lawsuit also alleges that shortly after the conversation with a third party, Lancaster boasted that his media contact would write a story about its inception if it received $ 1 million in funding.

In October 2019, Lancaster reportedly informed his correspondent that he was planning to leave Apple, hand over secret information about Apple products and ask if they would like to write a story about a 12-year-old Apple Design Veteran who going to a great startup? ” The correspondent apparently also asked Lancaster to get additional information about an unannounced project that Apple refers to as “Project X”.

Lancaster then submitted his resignation notice to Apple on October 15, but kept talking to his media source. The next day, they allegedly asked for specific documents they wanted Lancaster to get before leaving the company.

Apple also claims that Lancaster specifically attended a meeting on “Project X”, even after submitting his resignation notice, specifically to get more information to his media contact, despite being instructed by other employees not to attend to live. .

The company also claims that Lancaster used its Apple personnel to download confidential information until its service was terminated on November 1, 2019 at midnight. According to Apple, Lancaster reported from an external location that day at 10:24 pm – this time to get material that the company said would help its new employer.

Lancaster joined Apple in 2008 and worked for the company for 11 years, working as an advanced materials and product design architect in his final role there before leaving in 2019 to join Arris Composites, a materials design company, as head of consumer products. . According to a press release Lancaster has announced that it has switched to Arris, working on the 13-inch and 15-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar redesigns, along with “Apple products that have not yet been released.”

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