Boeing Owes Zunum Aero $72 million Over Theft of Trade Secrets


In a widely reported recent case, a Seattle jury found Boeing liable to startup Zunum Aero for $72 million over theft of trade secrets relating to small passenger jets having hybrid electric energy sources.

Boeing and Zunum started out as partners, collaborators, and even investors (Boeing’s VC arm invested in Zunum and had an observer seat on the board), but the relationship soured as Boeing breached agreements and used the trade secret information inappropriately.

Maia Berman at IAM wrote a good summary of the case and likely next steps. Her article can be found at:

Tangibly’s co-founder and CIPO Chris Buntel was one of three lawyers providing analysis and perspectives for the article and Boeing’s chances on appeal (it will be an uphill climb). Chris said that “When small companies seek relationships with major players in the field, a helpful partner or investor can overnight become a rival who had access to lots of trade secrets”.

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