WASHINGTON – Meta Platforms lost a bid on Monday (March 6) to end a lawsuit in Boston federal court claiming it stole confidential information from artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Neural Magic.
Meta will have to face a trial over accusations that it took Neural Magic’s “breakthrough” algorithms that enable AI systems to process information more quickly, United States District Judge Denise Casper said.
The court also allowed testimony from an expert who said Meta owes Neural Magic as much as US$766 million (S$1.03 billion) in royalties.
The trial is currently set to begin in September.
Neural Magic was founded by two former Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. Its investors include venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, VMware, Comcast and Verizon, according to its website.
Neural Magic sued Meta, then known as Facebook, in 2020 for allegedly stealing algorithms that enable simpler computers to run complex mathematical calculations more efficiently and allow research scientists to use larger data sets.
The lawsuit said Meta hired away a Neural Magic computer scientist, Mr Aleksandar Zlateski, who gave the social media giant the algorithms that make up the “heart” of Neural Magic’s technology.
Neural Magic said Meta published the algorithms on open-source website GitHub and thanked Mr Zlateski for solving a “key problem for Facebook’s continued advancement in the world of artificial intelligence”.
Meta asked the court to throw out the case last year, arguing Neural Magic had failed to identify any protectable trade secrets and that Mr Zlateski had not acquired the information improperly. But the court on Monday allowed Neural Magic’s case to continue for all but one of the 41 secrets that it accused Meta of misappropriating.
Judge Casper granted parts of Meta’s and Mr Zlateski’s request, rejecting Neural Magic’s claims that they violated a non-competition clause or engaged in unfair business practices under Massachusetts law.
This article was first published in Asia One . All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.