Dassault claims Siemens violated trade secrets

French software group Dassault Systemes on Thursday accused its German rival Siemens Software of trade secrets violation involving a "protected" list of Dassault's customers.

Dassault claims Siemens violated trade secrets
Did someone have sticky fingers? Photo: DPA

“Dassault Systemes … today confirmed a media report concerning a trade secrets violation by Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, a competitor of Dassault Systemes,” the French company said.

“After investigation, Siemens admitted having found a list of 3,216 customer names from Germany, Switzerland and Austria” on the internal computer network of its software subsidiary, the statement said.

Dassault Systemes is the world number one producer of the product lifestyle system, a 3D computer programme that presents the life-cycle of a product from manufacture to maintenance.

Questioned by AFP, a Siemens spokesman rejected the charge that the company had violated trade secrets. It confirmed that it had been contacted by the French company in June about the list. He said the list did not necessarily constitute a “trade secret” and insisted that Siemens “respects the trade secrets” of its rival.

Siemens also said it was “astonished” that after discussions, Dassault had gone public with its allegations.

The Dassault statement said Siemens had since returned the list and promised to destroy any copies.

“Dassault Systemes deeply regrets that information obtained illegally could be found on a competitor’s intranet and reserves the right to any action it deems appropriate to enforce its rights.”


Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

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In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

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