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HP sues former executive for alleged theft before he jumped to Oracle

April 8, 2011 |  3:13 pm

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Hewlett-Packard is suing a former executive for allegedly stealing trade secrets before he took a job with HP rival Oracle.

Filed Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the lawsuit alleged that Adrian Jones, a former HP senior vice president in Asia, stole proprietary information before he resigned in February and moved to Oracle (click here for court documents obtained by CRN).

An internal investigation at the time of his resignation uncovered that Jones failed to disclose a "close personal relationship" with a subordinate, gave that subordinate a 97% salary bump and expensed thousands of dollars spent visiting that person with no relevant business purpose, HP said.

Before he left, Jones copied "hundreds of files and thousands of e-mails" related to HP's business strategies, future plans, employee data and customer data, the suit said.

HP seeks an injunction from the court to prevent Jones from using the sensitive information to put the company at an "unfair competitive disadvantage."

This is the latest salvo in an increasingly acrimonious series of spats between tech giants HP and Oracle. Last year, Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems, an HP competitor in the server business. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison also mocked HP for firing former Chief Executive Mark Hurd for submitting faulty expense reports, then hired Hurd to work at Oracle.

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-- Shan Li

Photo: Larry Ellison, left, co-founder and CEO of Oracle, chats with Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP, during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., on March 18. Credit: John Mabanglo / European Pressphoto Agency.

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