Yahoo claims start-up stole trade secrets

by admin February 28, 2006 at 4:25 am

Yahoo has filed a lawsuit against wireless content company MForma, charging the San Francisco-based company and a group of ex-Yahoo employees there with theft of trade secrets.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in a Santa Clara County state court, the group of seven former Yahoo employees copied large amounts of confidential business and technical data when they left the Web portal company, and brought it to use in their new positions at MForma.

Yahoo is seeking a temporary restraining order, barring MForma from using any of the business or technical data. The company wants a deeper understanding of how the information has been used before asking for damages, a Yahoo attorney said.

“We have been confronted with evidence that shows a handful of employees has abused our trust and respect,” said Yahoo associate general counsel Reggie Davis. “We have been left with no recourse but to go to the courts.”

In a statement, MForma Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Sacks said Yahoo “deserves the gold medal for hypocrisy,” noting that the Web company had itself been recently sued on trade secrets grounds by Nuance Communications, after hiring a team of that company’s employees.

Full story: C|net