Sprint accuses former employees of trade secrets theft - Mobile World Live

Sprint accuses former employees of trade secrets theft

20 FEB 2020

Sprint filed a lawsuit accusing two former executives of stealing trade secrets, after thousands of the operator’s confidential documents were found on computers provided by their current employer.

In court documents, the operator claimed Paul Woelk and Craig Cowden shared information about Sprint’s VoIP technology with cable operator Bright House Networks (now part of Charter Communications), just before leaving Sprint to oversee VoIP services at the company.

Sprint said it spent “years and millions of dollars investing in, developing and optimising its VoIP technology,” adding the alleged theft caused it to lose “customers, revenue, profits and future business it could have used to reinvest even further in this and other emerging technologies”.

The filing was first spotted by The Kansas City Star.

Woelk served as Sprint’s senior manager of strategy and development until 2009, and Cowden, who left at the end of 2008, was VP of network service delivery and access management.

In addition to the former employees, Sprint named Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks as defendants, claiming Bright House Networks knew the information received from Woelk and Cowden was confidential.

Charter Communications acquired Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable in 2016.

Sprint said it is seeking “fair and reasonable” financial compensation, which will be determined by a jury at trial.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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