The Alleged Theft of Corporate Trade Secrets
Surrounding Mobile Payments
by Ruby Maa, Anand Natu, Dr. Rohit Chatterjee, Solomon Sia and Jeff Marowits
When Amdocs, a leading provider of software and services to communications and media companies, stopped working with Vesta, a fraud and payments solutions company for online commerce and telecom, it sparked a case alleging misappropriation of trade secrets by its former partner (Vesta Corporation v. Amdocs Management Limited et al T.C. Docket No. 3:2014cv0114). This project would focus on working with industry-leading experts to assess where true innovation was happening in the payment solutions software industry, as well as an insider’s view of how large mobile companies decide on their IT solutions.
Carnegie Mellon University professor, Michael Shamos and mobile payments industry expert, Christopher Bierbaum were a part of the Keystone’s team of technical and industry experts retained by Amdocs to analyze the trade secrets and determine their potential impact in a vendor selection process.
Dr. Shamos, who has been engaged as a technical expert in over 230 computer cases, conducted a technical trade secret analysis by running a series of code analyses and prior art analyses to trace the origin of the alleged trade secrets. He ultimately concluded that the technical trade secrets alleged by Vesta in the case did not constitute as trade secrets.
Dr. Shamos’ findings were corroborated by Mr. Bierbaum, who has over 15 years of experience in the mobile payments industry. Mr. Bierbaum’s analysis involved building a vendor scorecard for mobile payment vendors and assessing vendors against the scorecard to determine likelihood of winning a mobile operator’s business. The scorecard analysis drew upon his experience of evaluating numerous mobile payment vendors while at Sprint and Softcard (a collaboration between AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile). Ultimately, Mr. Bierbaum concluded that Vesta’s alleged trade secrets had no material impact on a mobile operator’s selection of a mobile payments vendor.
The case was ultimately settled in November 2018. Keystone’s work highlighted the firm’s ability to provide technical expertise in conjunction with the A-list of experts.