Seagate Technology today announced that in an effort to protect its trade secrets, the company has filed a complaint in Minnesota State Court for Hennepin County to prevent the misappropriation of trade secrets by Pete Goglia, a former employee who will join Western Digital, a Seagate competitor.

Mr. Goglia was employed at Seagate for 17 years, during which time he was intimately involved with the company’s read/write head development efforts. He recently left to join Western Digital, where he will lead that company’s read/write head development. The suit contends that Mr. Goglia will, in the course of his employment, inevitably disclose proprietary information that is confidential to Seagate, which would violate various statutes and his confidentiality agreements with Seagate.

“This is a situation in which one of our competitors has recently acquired the read/write head assets from a bankrupt supplier, and has stated their need to strengthen their capabilities in that technology,” said Dave Wickersham, Seagate chief operating officer. “We do not wish to impugn Mr. Goglia, but only to ensure that Western Digital does not build its new recording head capabilities with Seagate trade secrets.”

As part of its complaint, Seagate is seeking an injunction to prevent Mr. Goglia from working in certain defined areas of Western Digital’s read/write head development organization for a limited time period to avoid a misappropriation of trade secrets.