Ex-employees revealing trade secrets to rival: EMC

Former employees of EMC Corp. are disclosing corporate trade secrets to its rival, the storage software giant said in a complaint it filed in court against Pure Storage Inc.

“Dozens of former EMC employees have joined Pure Storage and stolen tens of thousands of pages of proprietary, highly confidential and competitively sensitive EMC material,” EMC alleged in documents filed yesterday before the United States District Court of Massachusetts. The activity was “apparently orchestrated or known to the highest executive management levels of Pure Strategy.”

Scott Dietzen, CEO of Pure Storage contends that his company is “squeaky clean” in building its team.

“New hires are from a competitor are asked to review their existing employments agreements and to confirm that they are no longer in possession of any IP from their prior employer (including IP in the cloud, mobile devices, or backup solutions that and employee could still have access to), and not to share any going forward or use at Pure,” said Dietzen in an open letter posted yesterday on the Pure Storage Web site.

Over the last six month, Dietzen said, EMC had sued six former employees that joined Pure Storage and recently has sued Pure Storage as well.

Founded in 2009, Pure Storage develops flash memory technology for data centres.

The company’s Flash Array solid state storage solution sells for about $5/gigabyte. The California-based firm competes against established storage companies EMC and NetApp which offer flash storage solutions at around $20 to $50/gigabyte.

Among Pure Storage’s customers are Netflix Inc. and LinkedIn Corp.

Some members of the board of Pure Storage, some early investors are former executives of EMC or VMware Inc., which was acquired by EMC in 2004, the complaint said.

The complaint also mentions Frank Slootman, Pure Storage director has being actively involved” in the “identification/or recruitment of highly skilled EMC employees.”

EMC also alleges that 44 of its technical engineers and sales professionals who transferred to Pure Storage in 2011 to which EMC sent letters to reminding them of their obligations to return confidential EMC materials and their commitments to not disclosed company secrets.

The 44 constitute at least 13 per cent of Pure Storage’s entire workforce

In several instances, these employees returned the materials only after EMC initiated legal action, the storage giant said.

Dietzen said he believes there is no merit to the allegations and that his company is prepared to defend itself.




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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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