Apple Settles Lawsuit Against Ex-Employee Who Allegedly Stole and Leaked Trade Secrets

Apple this week settled a lawsuit against Simon Lancaster, a former materials engineer and product design architect at the company who allegedly stole trade secrets and leaked them to a media contact (via The Verge).

The company sued Lancaster in March 2021. Following about a year and a half of litigation, the settlement order between the two parties was approved by a judge this week.

“Despite over a decade of employment at Apple, Lancaster abused his position and trust within the company to systematically disseminate Apple’s sensitive trade secret information in an effort to obtain personal benefits,” Apple wrote in its original complaint against Lancaster.

“He used his seniority to gain access to internal meetings and documents outside the scope of his job’s responsibilities containing Apple’s trade secrets, and he provided these trade secrets to his outside media correspondent.”

During his tenure at Apple, Lancaster allegedly shared information pertaining to unreleased hardware, unannounced feature changes, and planned product announcements with a journalist he met in November 2018.

Apple also accused Lancaster of downloading confidential data to “assist his new employer,” Arris Composites, before leaving his job at the iPhone maker in November 2019. As per Lancaster’s LinkedIn profile, he left Arris in 2021.

Under the terms of their settlement, Lancaster is on the hook to pay Apple an undisclosed sum of money. He is also legally restricted from “disclosing, communicating, transferring, discussing, or using any Confidential Information, in any form, without Apple’s express prior written authorization,” according to the settlement order.

Apple recently filed a lawsuit against medical monitoring technology company Masimo for allegedly “copying” the Apple Watch.

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