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Aug 4, 2007

CA Blasts Rocket For Code Theft in $200M Suit

CA is seeking $200m (!) from Rocket Software, claiming they used CA's intellectual property for their own database management system.
"The management software giant said in the complaint that Rocket hired programmers and software developers formerly employed by CA or Platinum technology International, which CA acquired in 1999. These employees (Mark Pompeii, Robert Schulien, Michael Skopec, and David Rowe), used CA's source code and development environment to fashion Rocket's software tools for the IBM DB2 relational database management system, CA alleged."

The transfer of intangible intellectual property in the form of employees' accumulated knowledge and experience is a frequent cause of trade secret disputes. The courts have a tough time differentiating deliberate theft and abuse of trade secrets from application of general knowledge, experience, competencies and skills. Employees who move to a new employer inevitably find it hard to stop thinking about their previous position and unintentionally transferring proprietary information to the new. Former employers have problems proving that proprietary information was disclosed or taken by leavers, especially without hard evidence (e.g. data transfer media, email records etc.)