The guys at SeattlePi have uncovered a bit of espionage going on in Redmond. According to Microsoft, a former employee took a position with the company in order to spy on them for his startup.
In a lawsuit filed in King Couny Superior Court in Seattle, Microsoft alleges former employee Miki Mullor, founder of Ancora Technologies Inc, sought employment with the company because he believed Microsoft's System Locked Preinstallation anti-piracy technology (SLP), infringed on an Ancora patent. During the application process Mullor claimed that Ancora was out of business—which doesn't appear to be true.
Microsoft's suit, filed last week, alleges that Mullor, as a Microsoft employee, downloaded a series of internal documents with "no bearing" on his job in the days and months leading up to the Ancora lawsuit. The documents dealt with subjects including the SLP and the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, according to Microsoft's complaint.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft has all but admitted to ripping off Ancora technology in the lawsuit citing language in Mullor's employment contract that requires patent disclosure and patent reassignment in some cases. In other words, Microsoft believes that they have royalty-free rights to the technology.
The case isn't expected to go to trial until January 26, 2010—so we will have to wait to see who emerges victorious here. It seems to me that if Mullor really felt he had a case, resorting to piracy over piracy software would not be necessary. It's not like information gained through espionage is going to be viewed positively by the courts. [SeattlePi via TechFlash Background Image via Flickr]