Data Centre

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Dell EMC in bid to clap trade secrets injunction on staff now at Rubrik

Alleges ex-sales bods copied files and solicited former clients

By Chris Mellor

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Dell EMC has tossed a trade secrets sueball at two ex-sales employees who left for Rubrik, alleging that they solicited other EMC staff to jump ship and approached Dell EMC customers.

Rubrik competes with Dell EMC in the data protection business.

Complaints were filed against Ryan Baker and Louis Ferreira, who respectively worked for the corp as a former district sales manager and an account executive in the Washington DC Metro Area. They allege that Baker received a Rubrik employment offer on July 2017 and downloaded trade secrets from his Dell EMC laptop onto an external hard drive.

The complaint against Baker also alleges he solicited his former EMC customers.

EMC also alleged it is aware of at least one instance in which Baker talking to his former clients resulted in EMC losing a sale worth approximately $1.2m.

The complaint against Ferreira says he joined Rubrik in November 2017. The firm alleges that the day before he resigned from EMC, he allegedly copied documents to a USB drive, including customer proposals and sensitive details relating to EMC's sales campaigns. He is said to have copied "a folder containing his EMC Quarterly Business Reviews, which contain sensitive pricing and product information relating to EMC’s active sales campaigns with customers".

EMC claims to have learned of this "after it forensically analyzed his EMC laptop".

It alleges that he is "violating" his EMC Key Employment Agreement.

Dell EMC claims "Rubrik has hired at least 18 individuals directly from EMC in the United States over the past year."

In 2013, EMC sued ex-employees who joined Pure Storage on similar grounds of taking confidential information and approaching former customers. Pure settled in 2016, paying Dell Technologies, which had acquired EMC, $30m.

EMC also sued a third former sales employee who joined Rubrik, Christopher Williams, in November 2017. EMC had claimed he copied trade secrets onto a USB drive and had approached former customers.

Williams said he had copied "two documents to track his own sales to ensure that EMC would pay him his rightful commission" and claimed he told his EMC manager this.

He said he had not made a single sale while at Rubrik to any of the customers EMC had named and the case was dismissed with prejudice by the court in February.

The three sueballs are among the first few EMC has flung out since it became part of the Dell EMC borg.

The lawsuits against Baker (1:2018cv10304) and Ferreira (1:2018cv10301) were filed in the District Court in Massachusetts, and are in a discovery phase. We have asked Rubrik's lawyer to comment. ®

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