Intellectual property thieves can be very clever people. According to a recent news report, a man recently stole electronic files that contained trade secrets that were the property of General Electric. He then used a method popular among hackers, called steganography, to hide the electronic files in a digital photo of a sunset.

His theft of trade secrets could result in a prison term of up to 10 years, the federal government’s Department of Justice said.

The New York man was apparently a former General Electric employee. The Justice Department said he “used an elaborate and sophisticated means to remove electronic files containing GE’s trade secrets involving its turbine technologies.” He then used steganography to hide the stolen data in an innocuous digital photo of a sunset, which he then emailed to himself.

While there is an element of James Bond in this story of failed theft, most intellectual property cases are less likely to conjure images of Hollywood theatrics, but no less likely to cause damage – sometimes irreparable damage – to the IP’s owner.

Our San Diego law firm has extensive experience in a wide variety of intellectual property cases, including matters involving patent disputes, trademark disputes, copyright disputes and trade secret litigation.

Our attorneys represent both plaintiffs and defendants in disputes over trade secrets – matters that can often involve employees, former employees, contractors and vendors.

If you find yourself or your firm in a disagreement over intellectual property, contact the IP litigation attorneys of Mazzarella & Mazzarella, LLP to discuss your rights and options.