Unisys can question former execs who jumped to rival Atos - U.S. judge

·2 min read
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By Mike Scarcella

(Reuters) - Two former executives at technology services company Unisys Corp must answer questions about their move to join an industry rival, as a U.S. court weighs a trade secrets lawsuit that seeks to place curbs on their new employment at Atos SE, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond's order in Philadelphia federal court granted a request by Unisys to depose Leon Gilbert and Michael McGarvey, former leaders of Unisys' "digital workplace solutions" business unit.

The court also allowed the fast-track examination of some of their communications with Atos.

Lawyers for Gilbert and McGarvey had urged Diamond not to allow "unnecessary, unduly burdensome, and overly broad" discovery. The judge's order on Tuesday did not explicitly bar Gilbert and McGarvey from working on any specific matter at Atos or from disclosing certain information.

Unisys sued Gilbert and McGarvey on Feb. 14 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to block the former executives from working on similar workplace technology matters at Atos.

Representatives for France-based Atos and lawyers for Gilbert and McGarvey did not immediately respond to messages on Wednesday seeking comment. Gilbert and McGarvey also did not immediately respond to a similar request.

A spokesperson for Unisys on Wednesday did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Unisys in a court filing said that "this case involves the theft of huge quantities of Unisys trade secrets," including technologies and business strategies for digital workplaces.

Attorneys for Gilbert and McGarvey disputed the allegation and said "Unisys has not identified a single trade secret."

Gilbert and McGarvey's lawyers said in a filing on Tuesday they had not accessed, shared or used "any Unisys information with anyone outside of Unisys, and that they have no intention to do so."

A court hearing before a U.S. magistrate judge is scheduled for March 10.

The case is Unisys Corp v. Leon Gilbert and Michael McGarvey, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

For plaintiff: Michael De Vries and Adam Alper of Kirkland & Ellis; Julian Williams of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

For defendants: Brian Riopelle and Gerald Stubenhofer Jr of McGuireWoods

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(Reporting by Mike Scarcella; editing by Leigh Jones)