As it turns out, the theft case isn’t that exciting. Calix, however, has all the makings of a technology company that will generate a fair share of buzz. For now, Calix officials won’t say what exactly they're developing, but here’s what we've been able to find out through our sources:
Meanwhile, the case that initially drew media attention to Calix involves former Cisco employee Peter Morch. Morch was arrested in November after an FBI search of his home uncovered some CD-ROMs with proprietary software code and information about projects he'd worked on at Cisco.
Other documents and file folders containing Cisco project information were found on a laptop issued to Morch by Calix, his new employer.
In the FBI's affidavit, Morch told agents that he'd downloaded proprietary software from Cisco to use "as a reference" for his new job with Calix. According to the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco, the maximum penalty Morch may face for trade secret theft, if convicted, is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution.
Morch hasn't been charged with trying to sell the data or blackmail Cisco, only with taking Cisco stuff. The last time a former Cisco employee was convicted for stealing information from Cisco was in May, when a jury found David Hawkins guilty of stealing source code for Cisco's Private Internet Exchange (PIX) product before leaving the company.
Coincidentally, both Hawkins and Morch came to Cisco through Cisco's acquisition of other companies. Hawkins was with Translation Network and Morch was with Fibex Systems.
Calix hasn't been charged with using the information Morch allegedly brought through its doors. Spokesman Gary Clemenceau says Calix didn't know Morch had Cisco intellectual property in his possession when he was hired.
“Besides," he adds, "Putting Cisco code in our products would be like using John Deere tractor parts in a Lamborghini."
-- Phil Harvey, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com