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Former HP exec says company paid for Dell trade secrets

blog In countersuit, former HP vice president says he was instructed by superiors to negotiate with the former president of Dell Japan.

A former executive at Hewlett-Packard is accusing his former company of obtaining trade secrets about Dell's plans to enter the printing business by paying off a Dell executive, according to a lawsuit filed in Texas.

Karl Kamb made the charges after first being sued by HP for allegedly stealing company technology that he used to launch a flat-screen business. In Kamb's countersuit, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, he says he was instructed by superiors to negotiate with Katsumi Iizuka, the former president of Dell Japan.

In 2002, according to the suit, senior HP executives signed off on payments to Iizuka, who then turned over product specifications, launch dates and financial information. Kamb says he was working in Japan as an HP vice president at the time, according to the suit.

Kamb's lawsuit was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Kamb named in his suit the same former HP employees and investigators that allegedly conducted a spying operation on journalists, HP board directors and employees last year.

Among those named are former HP Chairman Patricia Dunn, and former HP attorneys Kevin Hunsaker and Ann Baskins.

HP told the Chronicle that Kamb's counterclaim was "wholly without merit" and an attempt to delay its pending theft case against him. Kamb has denied HP's allegations against him.