AMD has accused four former employees of stealing 100,000 confidential files before leaving to work for rival chip manufacturer Nvidia, filing a suit described in the case document as "an extraordinary case of secret transfer [,] misappropriation and strategic employee solicitation."
The company said it has "uncovered evidence" that the ex-staff members had "transferred to external storage devices trade secret files and information in the days prior to their leaving AMD and working for Nvidia."
AMD alleges that the stolen files cover a number of critical business areas, including upcoming technology and contracts with major enterprise clients.
The company has now begun court proceedings against ex-vice president Robert Feldstein and managers Manoo Desai, Nicolas Kociuk and Richard Hagen, complaining of counts of "misappropriation of trade secrets", "unfair competition", "violations of the computer fraud and abuse act", and "breach of employee's duty of loyalty" as well of breach of contract and "conspiracy".
The document says AMD has already "suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm that cannot be adequately addressed at law" from the four men's actions, and says the company is seeking a temporary restraining order on the accused, along with a permanent injunction, damages, consequential damages, and even double or treble damages "where allowed by law" if it finds victory.
Robert Feldstein was last year rumoured to have secured AMD manufacturing deals for the next generation of home videogame consoles. As a previous vice president of engineering at ATI before its purchase by AMD, Feldstein's movement to the firm's direct rival in the entertainment technology space would certainly have been less than welcome news for the chip giant.