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Jury: Vade Secure 'Willfully and Maliciously' Misappropriated Proofpoint Trade Secrets

Vade Secure put a positive spin on it, saying the $13.5 million verdict shows Proofpoint's claim was an "overreach."

Edward Gately

August 25, 2021

2 Min Read
Trade Secrets
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A federal jury has awarded $13.5 million in compensatory damages to Proofpoint in a trade secrets lawsuit against Vade Secure.

The jury unanimously found that Vade Secure “willfully and maliciously” misappropriated over a dozen trade secrets and infringed copyrights belonging to Proofpoint and its subsidiary, Cloudmark.

The court will decide punitive damages for Vade Secure’s misappropriation of trade secrets in late October. Proofpoint will also seek injunctive relief to address ongoing and future harm.

Gary Steele is Proofpoint‘s CEO and chairman.

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Proofpoint’s Gary Steele

“Proofpoint invests heavily in R&D to provide innovative and highly effective products to its customers,” he said. “At the heart of this case was our strong belief that intellectual property rights must be respected. While we welcome fair competition and collaboration within the cybersecurity community, the misappropriation, copying and theft of our intellectual property required us to vigorously enforce our rights. We appreciate the jury sending a strong message that the theft of source code and misappropriation of trade secrets is unacceptable.”

3-Week Trial

The verdict is the culmination of one week of jury deliberations following a three-week trial. Proofpoint presented evidence of Vade Secure’s theft and use of its confidential and proprietary information, and source code. Proofpoint says it demonstrated that Vade Secure unlawfully took, copied and used its trade secrets and copyrighted source code as part of several Vade Secure products. Those include Vade for Microsoft 365, Email Content Filter, Vade Cloud and Vade MTA Builder.

The court found Olivier Lemarié, Vade Secure’s CTO, individually liable for trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement. It also found him liable for breach of his employment agreement with Cloudmark. He worked at Cloudmark before joining Vade Secure in 2017.

Vade Secure sent us the following statement:

“While we were hopeful we would be successful on all claims, we are pleased that the jury saw that Proofpoint/Cloudmark’s claims were an overreach as evidenced by their decision on damages. As a company whose core values are integrity and innovation, we don’t believe this outcome accurately reflects who we are. We will be evaluating our next steps in the coming days in light of this verdict.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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