Jury Unanimously Finds Vade Secure Willfully Misappropriated Proofpoint Trade Secrets and Infringed Proofpoint Copyrights

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Last week, a federal jury unanimously found that Vade Secure, a French cybersecurity company, willfully and maliciously misappropriated over a dozen trade secrets and infringed copyrights belonging to Proofpoint and its subsidiary Cloudmark LLC.

Proofpoint was awarded approximately $13.5 million in compensatory damages for Vade’s unjust enrichment, a figure that may be expanded upon by the trial judge. The Court’s decision on punitive damages for Vade’s willful misappropriation of the trade secrets is expected in late October. Proofpoint will also be seeking injunctive relief to address ongoing and future harm to Proofpoint.

The verdict is the culmination of one week of jury deliberations following a three-week trial during which Proofpoint presented evidence of Vade’s theft and use of Proofpoint’s confidential and proprietary information and source code.

“Proofpoint invests heavily in R&D to provide innovative and highly effective products to its customers. At the heart of this case was our strong belief that intellectual property rights must be respected,” said Gary Steele, CEO & Chairman, Proofpoint. “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.”

Proofpoint successfully demonstrated to the eight jurors that Vade unlawfully took, copied, and used Proofpoint’s trade secrets and copyrighted source code as part of several Vade products, including Vade for Microsoft 365, Email Content Filter, Vade Cloud, and Vade MTA Builder.

Vade’s Chief Technology Officer, Olivier Lemarié, was also found individually liable for trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement, and breach of his employment agreement with Cloudmark, where he worked before joining Vade in 2017.