Karl Kamb Jr, the former vice president of business development and strategy at Hewlett-Packard, has said that HP chief executives instructed him to spy on Dell, HP's biggest market rival. Kamb Jr is accused by HP of stealing trade secrets.

He is the main defendant named in a suit filed by HP the year before last, which claims that Kamb Jr and other HP employees started a company that makes flat-screen TVs while still working at the company. HP have denied Kamb Jr's claims.

Kamb Jr's counter suit includes allegations that HP hired Katsumi Iizuka, a former Dell Japan executive, exclusively to gain information regarding Dell's strategy for entering the printer market, and that senior management regularly paid him off.