Electrical Business

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PV player Heraeus nails former employee for alleged trade secrets theft


July 17, 2013
By Anthony Capkun

July 17, 2013 – Heraeus Precious Metals North America says it has obtained a $500,000 judgment under an agreement reached in litigation with former Heraeus Materials Technology LLC employee, Tung Pham, concerning alleged trade secrets theft.

Pham was employed as a senior scientist for the Photovoltaics Business Unit in West Conshohocken, Pa. Shortly after his resignation in April 2011, Heraeus found evidence that Pham had taken “highly sensitive” company trade secrets, and altered or removed research data without permission relating to the development of a commercially viable lead-free metallization paste.

Heraeus says it took immediate steps to protect and recover its valuable information, including notifying and cooperating with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office. As part of the settlement, Pham admitted he improperly downloaded hundreds of trade secrets and confidential information from Heraeus’ computers immediately before his resignation.

The Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unit is a developer and manufacturer of silver metallization pastes (photo) for the photovoltaic industry.