Magic Leap, one of the most hyped tech startup companies around, could be facing the potential leak of big secrets due to legal battles as two previous employees file wrongful termination suits. While their mixed reality work has been heralded as “mind bending” and is described as offering the ability to see virtual 3-D objects as if they were part of the real world, no one has actually seen any products – beta or otherwise. Their promise of creating a new platform that seamlessly blends digital and physical realities has many on tenterhooks, but without tangible evidence of their work, all the hype may soon fade away and leave the company a laughingstock.
Many are waiting to hear about specific product time frames and a chance to see some tangible evidence of the company’s claims, and they may get their wish in spite of the company’s intentions. Due to the upcoming legal battle surrounding two wrongful termination suits, Magic Leap’s secrets may be leaked to the public sooner than they planned.
Two computer scientists in the area of computer vision and robotics, Gary Bradski and Adrian Kaehler, filed the wrongful termination suits. Both claim that they were fired after they sought clarification of a paragraph in their employment agreements regarding consulting work outside of their work for the company.
A few days after Bradski and Kaehler filed wrongful termination lawsuits, Magic Leap filed suit accusing them both of misappropriating trade secrets and breaching contract. In the suit filed by Magic Leap, the two former employees are accused of using technology developed while working for Magic Leap for use in a new company the two developed or planned to develop.
The former employees claim these accusations are unfounded and are an attempt to avoid paying out stock options for termination for cause (over $20 million of stock rights are owned between the two).
If you have concerns regarding your employment contract, or if you suspect wrongful termination, please get in touch with one of the experienced southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.