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Judge Grants Injunction in Digital Equipment Case

May 21, 1986

Digital Equipment Corp. said Tuesday that a U.S. District Court judge granted the company an injunction in its trade secret litigation against a former Digital engineer who briefly worked for Emulex Corp. of Costa Mesa.

Under the injunction, Charles Hess, a former Digital engineer who worked for Emulex immediately after leaving Digital, is prohibited from disclosing any of Digital's confidential information and may not--for two years--work for any company that derives more than 10% of its income from manufacturing Digital-compatible equipment.

Hess, who lives in Colorado Springs, Col., could not be reached for comment.

Hess no longer works for Emulex, said Michael Lewis, the company's chief financial officer. He said that Hess, who joined the company on July 12, 1985, was sent to Emulex's corporate condominium in Colorado Springs four days after he joined the company. Hess was sent there, Lewis said, after Emulex attorneys discovered that Hess had brought some confidential information from Digital.

Hess remained on Emulex's payroll until January, Lewis said. "But the litigation made it impossible for him to be effective as a design engineer at Emulex," Lewis said.

Emulex is not affected by the injunction, Lewis said. But the company has already spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on legal fees.

Digital filed two suits against Emulex last July. One suit alleges that Hess gave Emulex access to Digital's trade secrets. The other suit alleges that Emulex infringed on Digital's patents.

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