Wednesday, January 16th 2013

AMD Accuses Ex-Staff of Leaking 100,000 Documents to NVIDIA

AMD alleged that four of its former employees ferried tens of thousands of confidential company documents over to NVIDIA. Among the four are AMD's former vice-president of strategic development Robert Feldstein, whose claim to fame was the big Xbox 360 GPU deal that continues to bring revenue. Feldstein left the company in July 2012, taking with him, a stash of company documents, named as "trade secrets." Three other former AMD employees are named in the lawsuit. AMD claims it has forensic evidence to prove the defendants used external storage devices to copy sensitive information from the company network, in breach of agreements.

Source: ArsTechnica
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46 Comments on AMD Accuses Ex-Staff of Leaking 100,000 Documents to NVIDIA

#1
W1zzard
Anyone know how damages will be calculated in such a case?
Posted on Reply
#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Since it's AMD vs. [individuals] and not AMD vs. NVIDIA, the individuals will be tried, and if guilty, jailed. I remember someone who leaked Intel's secrets to AMD getting a 30 year jail-term.
Posted on Reply
#3
Ikaruga
Industrial espionage is nothing new (sadly). These two are probably continuously spying on each other as much as they can since day one, just like the rest of the companies do in the Industry.
I would be more interested about the secret cartel agreements they made "against" us.
Posted on Reply
#4
Melvis
by: btarunr
Since it's AMD vs. [individuals] and not AMD vs. NVIDIA, the individuals will be tried, and if guilty, jailed. I remember someone who leaked Intel's secrets to AMD getting a 30 year jail-term.
Gezzz you get less for murder these days :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#5
RCoon
Forum Gypsy
by: Melvis
Gezzz you get less for murder these days :shadedshu
Sadly companies view their millions of $ lost as more important than the loss of life, therefore the jail time is adjusted according to their loss!
Posted on Reply
#6
AsRock
TPU addict
by: Melvis
Gezzz you get less for murder these days :shadedshu
by: RCoon
Sadly companies view their millions of $ lost as more important than the loss of life, therefore the jail time is adjusted according to their loss!
Yup money talks..
Posted on Reply
#7
W1zzard
What if the guys say "NVIDIA told me to take those documents" ?
Posted on Reply
#8
HalfAHertz
Looks to me like AMD are just trying to stop the talent leak to Nvidia, which is a really despicable thing to do. If you want to keep your workers keep them happy - simple as that.
Posted on Reply
#9
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: HalfAHertz
Looks to me like AMD are just trying to stop the talent leak to Nvidia, which is a really despicable thing to do. If you want to keep your workers keep them happy - simple as that.
And how much do you know about this? For all we know they might have leaked the documents. It could be a huge thing, it could blow up in all our faces, or it's nothing. Let the thing play out.
Posted on Reply
#10
Rahmat Sofyan
by: W1zzard
What if the guys say "NVIDIA told me to take those documents" ?
This will be more danger I guess.

But, let we get back when the HD7000 launch day...if I'm not wrong nvidia or their staff said they don't really impressed to much about it or they expected more from the Radeon HD 7900 Series, how it come they know it the day before HD7000 launch and verry confident can beat it???

Just curious, but if true ahhh this is very bad indeed.
Posted on Reply
#11
Fluffmeister
by: Rahmat Sofyan
This will be more danger I guess.

But, let we get back when the HD7000 launch day...if I'm not wrong nvidia or their staff said they don't really impressed to much about it or they expected more from the Radeon HD 7900 Series, how it come they know it the day before HD7000 launch and verry confident can beat it???

Just curious, but if true ahhh this is very bad indeed.
You are wrong, it was about a month later.
Posted on Reply
#12
entropy13
by: Rahmat Sofyan
This will be more danger I guess.

But, let we get back when the HD7000 launch day...if I'm not wrong nvidia or their staff said they don't really impressed to much about it or they expected more from the Radeon HD 7900 Series, how it come they know it the day before HD7000 launch and verry confident can beat it???

Just curious, but if true ahhh this is very bad indeed.
Would only be plausible if July 2012 happened before December 2011... :laugh::laugh::laugh:

by: Fluffmeister
You are wrong, it was about a month later.
An important clarification, but still not relevant anyway (see above). :p
Posted on Reply
#13
Shihabyooo
by: Rahmat Sofyan

But, let we get back when the HD7000 launch day...if I'm not wrong nvidia or their staff said they don't really impressed to much about it or they expected more from the Radeon HD 7900 Series, how it come they know it the day before HD7000 launch and verry confident can beat it???
In Nvidia's defence, you should take in account that their Kepler Architecture was said to perform much more than they were anticipated to be, hence switching from the GK100 GPU for the GTX 680 to the GK104.

I do agree it still smells fishy though.
Posted on Reply
#14
HalfAHertz
by: Frick
And how much do you know about this? For all we know they might have leaked the documents. It could be a huge thing, it could blow up in all our faces, or it's nothing. Let the thing play out.
Well if it's such a big deal, then they should man up and straight sue Nvidia not a few individuals who hardly have the budget to defend themselves vs a whole corporation...
Posted on Reply
#15
buggalugs
Should be fun. It takes a lot of balls to do what the ex AMD guys did. Either they were so pissed off with AMD or Nvidia made them a financial offer they couldnt refuse.

Risking criminal charges and risking your reputation in the industry is a big deal. Why would they risk it? It kinda seems personal to me, like they were so pissed off they wanted to get back at AMD.....or it could just be good old fashioned greed.

Should be interesting.
Posted on Reply
#16
Rahmat Sofyan
Jahhh my my bad :D...just curious, not judging.

"Would only be plausible if July 2012 happened before December 2011"

I'm not understand this, HD7000 launch December 2011, and AMD found the case on July 2012, I think is it still possible. and we don't know since when AMD loss the data or been steal.

and the fact that Kepler lately launch, and all about their confidence...this is very curious for me, AFAIK no company can really sure 100% about how much better/worse their rival so much, unless they have their rival data and prepare so well to encountered the rival.

I'm just worry if what W1zzard said come true, literally, and AMD found nvidia use the data. it just not good, but I hope not.

Just IMO.
Posted on Reply
#17
3870x2
by: Frick
And how much do you know about this? For all we know they might have leaked the documents. It could be a huge thing, it could blow up in all our faces, or it's nothing. Let the thing play out.
As opposed to HalfAHertz single handedly halting the court case?
Posted on Reply
#18
okidna
by: Rahmat Sofyan
Jahhh my my bad :D...just curious, not judging.

"Would only be plausible if July 2012 happened before December 2011"

I'm not understand this, HD7000 launch December 2011, and AMD found the case on July 2012, I think is it still possible. and we don't know since when AMD loss the data or been steal.

and the fact that Kepler lately launch, and all about their confidence...this is very curious for me, AFAIK no company can really sure 100% about how much better/worse their rival so much, unless they have their rival data and prepare so well to encountered the rival.

I'm just worry if what W1zzard said come true, literally, and AMD found nvidia use the data. it just not good, but I hope not.

Just IMO.
December 2011 : 7970 launched,
January 2012 : NVIDIA said that they "expected more from [AMD]’s new architecture",
March 2012 : GTX 680 launched,
July 2012 : those guys being kicked out from AMD.

Nothing's wrong timeline-wise.

And there's probably no secret at all with "AMD's trade secrets", just one piece of paper with text written : "Just sell your damn thing cheaper than your competitor(s)." :D
Posted on Reply
#19
badtaylorx
by: W1zzard
What if the guys say "NVIDIA told me to take those documents" ?
what if i told you to "kill my wife"???

are you any less culpable to murder???
Posted on Reply
#20
anubis44
by: Rahmat Sofyan
Jahhh my my bad :D...just curious, not judging.

"Would only be plausible if July 2012 happened before December 2011"

I'm not understand this, HD7000 launch December 2011, and AMD found the case on July 2012, I think is it still possible. and we don't know since when AMD loss the data or been steal.

and the fact that Kepler lately launch, and all about their confidence...this is very curious for me, AFAIK no company can really sure 100% about how much better/worse their rival so much, unless they have their rival data and prepare so well to encountered the rival.

I'm just worry if what W1zzard said come true, literally, and AMD found nvidia use the data. it just not good, but I hope not.

Just IMO.
If AMD finds credible evidence that either Nvidia was somehow behind this theft, or indeed, that Nvidia, regardless of their role in the theft, has possession of this technology, Nvidia will be in for some extremely stiff judgements - AMD can sue for loss of profit plus damages. Loss of profit can be calculated based on sales during the period of benefit (which may be ongoing), but damages can be arbitrarily decided by the court. It almost depends on what mood the judge is in that day, but it could be anywhere from tens of millions (slap on the wrist) to billions (making an example of Nvida and crucifying them).
Posted on Reply
#21
Rahmat Sofyan
nothing wrong with the timeline, but we still don't know since when AMD loss their data exactly, this is big question right know.

and considered how much the data ( 100.000 ) leaked to nvidia or else and for whatever the reason, I think this is still a big case.

wait and see, what will happen and how nvidia respond it.
Posted on Reply
#22
renz496
by: buggalugs
Should be fun. It takes a lot of balls to do what the ex AMD guys did. Either they were so pissed off with AMD or Nvidia made them a financial offer they couldnt refuse.

Risking criminal charges and risking your reputation in the industry is a big deal. Why would they risk it? It kinda seems personal to me, like they were so pissed off they wanted to get back at AMD.....or it could just be good old fashioned greed.

Should be interesting.
given how long these guys has been with amd i think its possible. well it could be a project where they personally involved with but somewhat rejected or can by the new amd top management and they were frustrated by it.

by: Rahmat Sofyan
Jahhh my my bad :D...just curious, not judging.

"Would only be plausible if July 2012 happened before December 2011"

I'm not understand this, HD7000 launch December 2011, and AMD found the case on July 2012, I think is it still possible. and we don't know since when AMD loss the data or been steal.

and the fact that Kepler lately launch, and all about their confidence...this is very curious for me, AFAIK no company can really sure 100% about how much better/worse their rival so much, unless they have their rival data and prepare so well to encountered the rival.

I'm just worry if what W1zzard said come true, literally, and AMD found nvidia use the data. it just not good, but I hope not.

Just IMO.
^ uh isn't that amd found about this recently? if they really know about it since july last year then there will be a lot of buzz from amd already by then. Feldstein left the company last july but i don't think the minute he left the company amd suddenly know he was taking the document with him.
Posted on Reply
#23
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
I never seen so many lawyers on a tech forum before!
Posted on Reply
#24
okidna
by: Rahmat Sofyan
nothing wrong with the timeline, but we still don't know since when AMD loss their data exactly, this is big question right know.

and considered how much the data ( 100.000 ) leaked to nvidia or else and for whatever the reason, I think this is still a big case.

wait and see, what will happen and how nvidia respond it.
Please read the complaint document : http://www.scribd.com/doc/120535155/AMD-lawsuit

First page :
Thousands of AMD documents of electronic files have been taken from its facilities by employees leaving to work for its primary competitor in the graphic business, NVIDIA Corporation ("NVIDIA"). Forensically-recovered data shown that it began when former AMD executive, Defendant Feldstein, leave AMD in July 2012.
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