Dow Chemical, GE settle lawsuit Recruiting Dow workers to gain secrets alleged

April 10, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Scarcely a week after it filed a lawsuit accusing General Electric Co. of "systematically and aggressively" hiring employees privy to trade secrets, Dow Chemical Co. said yesterday that the two companies had reached an "amicable resolution" of the matter.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed, but both Dow and General Electric said no money was involved.

In a joint statement, Dow Executive Vice President Anthony J. Carbone and GE Plastics President Gary L. Rogers said the dispute was resolved after conversations between them and the exchange of information between the companies.

The two executives met to discuss the issues in the lawsuit last week. Lawyers for both sides met earlier this week.

In the lawsuit filed March 31 in a state court in Pontiac, Mich., Dow accused General Electric of hiring 14 engineers and sales executives from Dow's plastics division over the last two years and putting them to work at similar tasks.

When it filed the suit, Dow obtained a temporary restraining order barring GE from using Dow technology or any trade secrets in making plastics for cars, appliances and other products that it might have obtained from the former Dow employees.

But GE stoutly maintained its innocence. Monday, it filed a 38-page response to the charges.

The whole matter quickly became something of an embarrassment for Dow, legal experts and analysts said.

Specifically, they noted that Dow's contentions that Daniel H. Kaufman, former head of sales and marketing for Dow's plastics division, had taken a confidential Dow document and used it after he started work with General Electric soon appeared to be baseless.

Pub Date: 4/10/97

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