Corporate espionage incident at Microsoft

February 1, 2009

Corporate espionage incident at Microsoft Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against a former employee for stealing important files from the company. According to reports, the former employee joined Microsoft with the intent of procuring confidential documents that could help win an intellectual property case against the software giant.

Miki Mullor interviewed for a job at Microsoft in 2005, stating that he was a former employee of Ancora. According to Microsoft, Mullor joined the company under the false pretense that Ancora was no longer in business. It was revealed that Mullor is currently the CEO of the company and it is still in business.

Mullor downloaded confidential documents from Microsoft which allegedly reveals that the software giant infringed upon patents filed by Ancora. Mullor, while in the employ of Microsoft filed a lawsuit via Ancora, accusing Microsoft of the patent infringement.

The lawsuit was actually directed at the PC manufactures: Dell, HP and Toshiba. The PC makers in turn asked Microsoft to defend them against the suit because the software was provided by the company. According to Mullor, he pitched the idea for the technology patented by Ancora to a Microsoft representative prior to 2005. Mullor indicated that he filed the lawsuit against Microsoft after realizing the patent infringement.

Microsoft in retaliation filed a lawsuit against Mullor accusing him of failure to disclose accurate past employment history and theft of confidential documents from the company.

Microsoft also demands that the company should be able to use the technology free of charge from Ancora because Mullor did not reveal the existence of Ancora’s patent while being aware of the development of similar technology by Microsoft.

It sounds like both parties could be at fault here. The blame could lie with Mullor if he joined Microsoft with the intent of eventually filing a lawsuit against the company. However, how would he have known that the company was planning to copy his technology?

Also, if Microsoft developed the technology after being given a presentation by Mullor, blame could also lie with the software giant. The situation gets pretty dicey with both parties providing evidence about the other’s wrong doing.

It does appear that Mullor did the wrong thing by setting out to deceive Microsoft in order to obtain employment. But on the other hand, if you believed that your patent had been infringed, wouldn’t you be tempted to do the same thing?

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6 Responses to “Corporate espionage incident at Microsoft”

  1. Roger Milson:

    Desperate people do desperate things. Yes, Mullor did the wrong thing, but I can’t help feeling that I would probably do the same thing in his situation.

  2. Michael Rudmin:

    It does not necessarily appear to me that he tried to decieve Microsoft. Rather, when you form a small business, and it stops making money, you can let it go out of business without letting its paperwork go. That would appear to be what happened. Where I work, there is a similar worker who used to own a construction company. Now he’s letting it go. On the other hand, this looks like a clear case of patent theft by Microsoft, before he was ever employed. I’d say that this needs to go to full damages, and possibly triple damages.

  3. Mark:

    Ok, so let M$ take Mr. Muller to court for what he did wrong and let Mr. Muller take M$ to court for what they did wrong.

    Hopefully they both prevail and are awarded damages that are equal to the wrong done.

    I have a feeling Mr. Muller would still come out on top.

  4. Joe Zydeco:

    “According to Mullor, he pitched the idea for the technology patented by Ancora to a Microsoft representative prior to 2005.”

    “Microsoft in retaliation filed a lawsuit against Mullor accusing him of failure to disclose accurate past employment history…”

    This seems a bit contradictory on it’s face, doesn’t it? If Mullor pitched his idea to Microsoft, then Microsoft knew of him and his history before he was employed. That’s assuming a perfect world, and we all know how large corporations really work.

  5. vernes:

    Have the judge agree to BOTH lawsuites and have them both pay the exact same amount.

    Then allow Microsoft to fire Muller, and forbid microsoft to use mentioned patent.

    That way they’ll both have a crime in their record. But also both gotten what they wanted.

  6. shops:

    It抯 arduous to seek out educated people on this matter, but you sound like you already know what you抮e speaking about! Thanks

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