A former Cisco software engineer was freed on $100,000 bail last week after being charged with stealing trade secrets from the networking giant.
Peter Morch, who this October quit Cisco for year-old rival Calix Networks, was arrested after a police search of his San Francisco home uncovered CDRoms containing data on in-development Cisco optical networking products.
According to court documents, Morch copied a large portion of his files at work, including email and information from websites, onto several CDRoms.
The files included emails and other data about Cisco's interface for Technical Project 1101, a project that Morch worked on that is believed to relate to Cisco's 6700 family of optical networking products.
However, Morch has not been charged with trying to sell the data, blackmailing Cisco or using it to help his new employer Calix. Indeed, Calix's chief executive Michael Hatfield has denied any interest in the material, but still decided to suspend Morch after he was arrested.
"I think there is definitely some credence [to the charges] that we need to investigate," Hatfield told local US newspaper The San Francisco Chronicle.
Stealing trade secrets carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.
In May, former Cisco staffer David Hawkins was found guilty of stealing information after he copied Cisco source code before leaving to start his own business.
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