Dassault Systemes reports that a list of 3,000 its customers found its way onto the intranet of Siemens PLM Systems. Siemens has returned the list and promised to destroy copies.
Not good enough, Dassault responded:
An internal audit conducted by Dassault Systèmes demonstrated that the above information was properly protected, and therefore Dassault Systèmes deeply regrets that information obtained illegally could be found on a competitor’s intranet, and reserves the right to any action it deems appropriate to enforce its rights.
The trade secret violation involved contact info on 3,216 customers located in the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
At the same time, parent company Siemens continues to face prosecution in Germany for $2-billion worth in bribes paid to win contracts.
The New York Times reports that the info was more than just lists of customers:
The [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung] newspaper said -- and Dassault confirmed -- that the data had included organizational charts, price lists and the cost of software maintenance for individual customers.
By knowing what Dassault charges specific customers, a competitor could undercut pricing in hopes of landing the account.
Dassault thinks one of its former employees took the data, hoping it would land him a job with Siemens.
According to the International Herald Tribune, Siemens denies trade secrets were involved: "The allegation that a list of names of companies was a trade secret owned by Dassault could not be confirmed," said Siemens.
The two had earlier come to an out-of-court settlement, and so Siemens was surprised when Dassault now issued a press release on the matter. Perhaps Siemens posting the data on its internal intranet -- instead of handing it back -- may have lead to Dassault now threatening further court action.