Trade-secrets theft alleged
Company claims architect who had been on the staff took its intellectual property
An Auckland architect has been charged with stealing trade secrets and intellectual property from a firm by allegedly hacking into its computer system.
Michael Christopher Davies, 45, appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday on five charges.
He faces four counts of accessing Context Architects’ server and obtaining files relating to the firm’s ArchiCAD template, a computer software program.
Davies is also accused of taking a model from the firm and a template which contained a trade secret.
The alleged offending is said to have occurred from January to March this year, court documents read.
Davies told the Herald: “There had been some allegations made, I refute them, and will defend them in a court of law.”
The English-born architect also confirmed he worked for the Takapuna-based company Design Partners.
The firm’s website describes the Ponsonby man as a Design Partners principal with more than 20 years’ experience in architecture. He is said to have extensive experience across all sectors of architecture including residential (masterplanning, passive tropical housing, luxury high-end houses), commercial, hospitality, civic and naval architecture.
“He has extensive experience with high-density and mixed-use developments.”
Davies also studied and worked as a technician before becoming an architect, the website said.
A statement from Context Architects said Davies was a former member of its staff and accused him of intellectual property theft.
“Despite a robust digital security system, the former staff member was in a senior position where he was able to access our files,” the company said.
Context Architects said it had been working with the police’s Financial Crimes Group.
Davies will next appear in court on February 14.