Western Digital let out one of the strangest press releases we’ve seen with today’s news of a secret lawsuit brought by competitor Seagate. While the relevant details seem to have been sealed by the court, it looks like WD hired a former employee of Seagate’s, and the latter company is alleging impropriety on the part of WD as well as misuse of company secrets.
Clearly the arbitrator agrees, as judgment was levied by the court in the tune of $525 million – just under half a billion dollars that WD would have to pay.
Western Digital doesn’t seem to be allowed much room to talk about the event, noting only that it involves “claims brought by Seagate Technology LLC” – noting only that it surrounded the previously mentioned employee that used to work for Seagate. WD also mentioned that the whopping $525 million judgement doesn’t include any kind of prejudgement interest, which has yet to be determined.
Given that Seagate managed to convince an arbitrator that WD had picked up one of its former employees, and said employee was knowledgeable enough to pass along company secrets, it makes us wonder just who the person was and what they’re accused of sharing. WD obviously claims to have done no wrong, with CEO John Coyne expressing, “We do not believe there is any basis in law or fact for the damage award of the arbitrator.”
It’s worth noting, at least, that the statement just says – hey, we don’t think we broke the law, not hey – we didn’t do anything wrong. We’ll keep investigating the situation and updating the story as details come out.