The Trade Court in Frankfurt, Germany has decided in favor of Sabinsa Europe GmbH in a lawsuit against its German based competitor (Defendant) for theft of proprietary customer lists, technical information and other data. The court found that a former Sabinsa employee had access to and stole Sabinsa Europe’s data and used that information for the personal benefit of himself as well as the German based competitor. The court concluded that the only reason for hiring the former employee of Sabinsa by the German based competitor was for the hard disk with the business and trade secrets.
The court has ordered the competitor to cease and desist from using business and trade secrets belonging to Sabinsa, specifically lists of clients, price information and analysis certificates provided to the competitor by the former employee of Sabinsa. They must destroy the information in their possession, and never again hire a Sabinsa employee with the intention of gaining access to trade secrets. Should this happen again the defendant has to pay a fine of up to 250,000.00 EUR or face imprisonment of up to six months. The competitor must also pay Sabinsa compensation for damages, as well as court costs. The competitor’s lawyers have informed us that the competitor shall not challenge the judgment but accept it.
German law allows for prosecution if a former or current employee with access to business and trade secrets shares them with unauthorized parties for the purpose of competition and/or self interest with an intention to cause damage in case of such blatantly unethical business practices.
“It was clear from witness testimony that this theft of Sabinsa’s confidential information was utilized in an attempt to exploit our trade secrets and damage our business,” said Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder & Group Chairman of Sami – Sabinsa Group of Companies.