It is a common problem. A founder, director or senior employee is leaving, and the company needs to protect itself from that person taking with them trade secrets, databases, or other confidential information. We are regularly asked to advise on such matters.
It seems Match Group are now encountering a similar problem. It has filed a lawsuit at the US Supreme Court in New York on Tuesday of this week against Sean Rad, co-founder of Tinder, accusing him of violating a trade secrets agreement by making copies of his work emails and confidential documents.
It is shocking that such a senior person would not be aware that such actions would be uncovered. We tend to come across this type of blatant conduct in more junior employees.
Rad was the CEO of Tinder until 2016; it was reported that he had been fired as its Chairman in September 2017. Match accuses Rad of secretly copying large volumes of documents belonging to his employees "in order to advance his personal interests". It is not known whether it is accusing Rad of attempting to set up a rival using that confidential information.
However, Rad's lawyer has already issued a statement in which it was claimed that the litigation was doomed to fail because Rad was specifically allowed to back up his emails by a provision in his contract of employment. The statement went on to accuse Match of issuing this claim in retaliation for Rad (and other former Tinder employees) filing suit for $2billion over an undervalue of stock options.
If you or your business needs advice regarding keeping confidential information safe from departing employees, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
in: Copyright, EU/International