Ex-Apple employee denies leaking trade secrets to media

(IANS) Former Apple employee Simon Lancaster, who has been sued for allegedly leaking information to an unnamed publication, has denied the allegations in a court filing that he disseminated trade secrets in exchange for favourable coverage of a start-up he had invested in.

In March, documents were made public accusing Lancaster, a former materials lead at Apple, of accessing data outside of his job’s scope, then selling it on to a media outlet.

Lancaster was said in the lawsuit to have “used his seniority” to gain access to trade secrets, which he then allegedly traded for benefits from the publication, Apple Insider reported.

Lancaster’s lawyers filed a response to Apple’s lawsuit on Monday, denying Apple’s allegations against him in the document provided to the US District Court of the California and San Francisco Division.

The response denied the vast majority of Apple’s claims in its lawsuit.

Throughout, Lancaster denied various claims from Apple, such as accusations that he “abused his position and trust within the company, systematically disseminated Apple’s trade secret information, or improperly used his seniority to gain access to internal meetings and documents”.

He did admit to requesting a reporter to publish stories that were favourable to a startup that he had put money into, but denied “that such requests were in exchange for any information discussed with the reporter or had any relationship to Apple’s confidential information”.

Lancaster, though, did admit to speaking to the reporter about “workplace issues he considered to be of public concern”, including “alleged corruption within Apple’s supply chain and among Apple’s supply chain managers”.

On the evening of his last day of employment on November 1, 2019, Lancaster claimed he logged into Apple’s internal system to “send farewell emails to his colleagues”, but denied downloading confidential information.

Lancaster also said that Apple’s claim for a breach of the written contract is barred as the allegedly breached terms “are void and unenforceable under California law”.

He asked the court to dismiss Apple’s complaint with prejudice, recovery of costs and attorney’s fees and any other “just and proper” relief.

Lancaster also requestd a trial by jury.

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