CASE STUDY

Intellectual Property Theft

Former Employee’s New Company Launches Similar Product

A corporation has an employee quit from the engineering to go work for a competitor.  Part of the employee exit process requires the Information Technology (IT) department acquire an image of the employee’s computer.  After a year, the competitor launches functionality eerily similar to patented functionality the organization had been working on for the last three years.  A patent infringement case ensues, and the organization goes back to review exactly what portion of the project the employee who left for the competitor worked on.

Using BlackLight, the company began a review of the former employee’s computer.  Browser history showed the former employee downloaded his new employment contract with the competitor two months before he gave notice to the organization.  The Actionable Intel portion of BlackLight, which automatically parsed data of possible interest, revealed the former employee transferred design schematic files to a thumb drive a week after his new employee contract was downloaded.  The files with the design schematics were sent to the legal team as reference documents to try to locate at the competing firm.

Using BlackLight in this case allowed the company to quickly locate artifacts.  They were also able to dive into the system and verify dates and times for the artifacts, setting up a timeline of events that indicated the former employee removed design schematics from his work computer after he had an employment contract with the competing company.

Actionable Intel showed a former employee moved design schematic files to a thumbdrive a week after he downloaded a competitor’s employment contract

IT Manager

Main Takeaways:

  • Corporate policies required the IT department acquire an image of all employee’s computers when they resign from the company.
  • When a competitor’s company launched functionality similar to patent pending functionality, the computer of a former employee, who now works for the competitor, was available for analysis.
  • The Actionable Intel section in BlackLight highlights data the former employee transferred to a thumb drive, data that included design schematics.
  • BlackLight parsed Internet browser history showing when the employment contract for the competitor company was downloaded, prior to the transfer of the design schematics to the thumb drive.

Quick Facts

Features: 

BlackLight parsed Internet browser history and provided quick access to data of interest in the Actionable Intel tab.

Problem Solved:

A competing company launched functionality similar to patent pending solution devolved in-house.

Solution Provided:

The company identified data on the computer of former employee who now works for the competitor showing the possible theft of Intellectual Property.

Overall Results:

BlackLight quickly and easily showed how the former employee transferred design schematic files to external media, providing support for the intellectual property theft law suit.

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