A technology company that develops artificial intelligence and autonomous transportation solutions engaged FTI Technology to lead e-discovery and document review in a dispute relating to departing employee theft of intellectual property. In addition to their e-discovery needs, legal counsel and stakeholders from the organization’s compliance team needed experts who could investigate and uncover specific data that contained IP across multiple data sources within the client’s environment and the opposing party’s environment. FTI Technology’s team of emerging data sources experts applied the firm’s proprietary Connect platform to drive quick access and insights into technical files and other sources of IP stored in Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

Our Role

FTI Technology’s experts have worked with numerous clients in high technology to collect, process, analyze, review and produce engineering files, source code and other forms of sensitive, technical data in IP theft investigations and litigation. The emerging data sources team also has extensive experience with navigating complex underlying systems and developing novel tools and workflows to efficiently extract rapid, meaningful insights from large sets of diverse data. In this matter, the team delivered the following solutions:

  • Collected a forensic image of the departed employee’s device to create an inventory of MD5 hash values of thousands of files that the employee had access to prior to leaving the company.
  • Partnered with the client’s legal, compliance and development teams to ensure a clear understanding of the characteristics of the files and data sources that contained IP.
  • Developed a workflow for comparing files across the two environments in question based on their metadata and MD5 hash values, which would provide a fast and reliable way to cross-reference for stolen IP without conducting a full-scale review of millions of documents.
  • Applied Connect to the client’s live Microsoft 365 environment and to the opposing party’s live Google Drive environment to quickly collect metadata only from the documents in scope.
  • Conducted searches and analyzed the document metadata within the live environments to find overlaps in the hash values, which validated each instance of a file belonging to the client that was also in the opposing party’s systems.
  • Collected only the files that were flagged as relevant according to the overlap in hash value and/or file name, which significantly reduced the number of documents that needed further review.
  • Maintained a detailed audit of the data and the methodology within Connect, which enables the client to conduct subsequent, in-depth e-discovery exercises for the matter if the need were to arise.