PV materials supplier Heraeus has won a US$500,000 claim against a former employee it accused of stealing company secrets.
Heraeus alleged that Tung Pham, a former employee of its materials technology business, had taken what the company described as highly sensitive trade secrets.
It also said Pham had altered or removed without permission data relating to the development of a commercially viable lead-free metallisation paste.
Heraeus said it had found evidence of Pham’s alleged deeds shortly after his resignation from the company in 2011 and taken immediate action by notifying the FBS and US Attorney’s office.
As part of the settlement, Heraeus said Pham admitted he improperly downloaded hundreds of trade secrets and confidential information from Heraeus' computers immediately before his resignation.
Heraeus said it would continue to be vigilant in protecting its intellectual property.
The company is currently engaged in separate long-running intellectual property dispute with its rival DuPont after DuPont filed a lawsuit two years ago alleging patent infringement by Heraeus. Heraeus denies the claims.