Investigating Potential Intellectual Property Theft: A Digital Forensics Case Study in a High-Tech Manufacturing Company

A case study on work that Notion Digital Forensics have completed.

This case study discusses a high-tech manufacturing company’s allegation of unauthorised taking of valuable company designs by an employee during a company restructure. The employee’s laptop was requested for forensic examination, revealing attempts to erase data and tamper with the device’s date settings.


The primary objective was to investigate whether the employee had indeed stolen company designs and to determine whether any attempts were made to erase or tamper with potential evidence on the laptop.


Notion Digital Forensics was engaged to conduct a thorough forensic examination of the employee’s laptop and other cloud-based evidence. The examination focused on identifying any signs of unauthorised downloading of company designs and determining if any attempts were made to erase or tamper with evidence.


The forensic examination revealed that the laptop had been erased. Notion Digital Forensics was able to establish that the laptop’s clock had been altered to provide a misleading erasure date. The examination also provided the likely month and year when the erasure occurred.


The digital forensic examination provided crucial evidence that the employee had attempted to erase data and tamper with the laptop’s date settings. This information enabled the company to negotiate with the employee regarding the disposition of the stolen intellectual property. It also highlighted the need for adequate security controls to prevent employees from erasing devices and eliminating evidence of potential wrongdoing, even during challenging times such as the pandemic.

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Notion Digital Forensics are technical experts in cybersecurity, e-discovery, and digital forensic investigation and cyber-defence for business and lawyers.

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Important Notice

Preserving Confidentiality

The case study presented above is based on real events. To protect the identities of the parties involved, we have altered certain facts and details. These changes may be minor or significant and may include the inclusion of false information. Our aim is to maintain confidentiality for those involved.

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