Intel sues engineer who joined Microsoft over trade secrets

PORTLAND — Intel is suing a former Oregon employee, alleging he took trade secrets when he left for Microsoft and used the information to gain an advantage in later business negotiations with Intel.

Engineer Varun Gupta worked at Intel for ten years before joining Microsoft in January 2020, according to the suit. He allegedly loaded Intel trade secrets onto two USB drives before quitting and then accessed them on his Microsoft-issued laptop, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Gupta could not immediately be reached by the newspaper for comment. Intel and Microsoft are increasingly rivals as Microsoft develops its own chip engineering capabilities.

In this case, however, the litigation indicates Intel and Microsoft worked together to investigate. Intel’s complaint claims Gupta denied knowing the location of one USB drive, but later turned it over to Microsoft for analysis.

An internal investigation concluded that he had transferred 3,900 Intel documents to a USB drive, according to the complaint.

Intel seeks unspecified damages in the suit, attorney fees and an injunction preventing Gupta from using or disclosing the material on the USB drive. It filed the suit Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Feds uphold Oregon denial of permit for natural gas terminal

COOS BAY — Federal authorities Monday affirmed the state of Oregon’s finding that a proposed major West Coast liquified natural gas pipeline and export terminal is not consistent with its coastal zone management plans.

Jordan Cove’s Canadian backers, Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp., had appealed the state’s finding to the U.S. Commerce Department. The company hoped the Trump Administration would override the state’s authority to determine if projects are consistent with the Coastal Zone Management Act, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declined, saying the company had failed to show that the project is consistent with the law. It’s the latest hurdle the $10 billion terminal and pipeline project have encountered. On Jan. 19, federal regulators upheld the state’s earlier decision against granting the project a clean water certification. The state has also denied a necessary dredging permit for the project.

— The Associated Press

Without those approvals, the project, which has been in the works for over 15 years, cannot move forward.

Jordan Cove would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states. The proposed 230-mile feeder pipeline would begin in Malin, in southwest Oregon, and end at the city of Coos Bay on the rural Oregon coast.

Project opponents cheered Monday’s decision.

“Pembina’s last-ditch effort to override Oregon’s authority to stop Jordan Cove LNG has failed,” Allie Rosenbluth, campaigns director at Rogue Climate, said in an emailed statement.

Pembina could reapply to the state for both its clean water and coastal zone certifications, although it’s not clear it would get different outcomes.

— Associated Press

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