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Safeguarding Your Company Against Insider Theft: 6 PRC Citizens Charged with Economic Espionage

On May 16, Hao Zhang, a Chinese university professor, was arrested upon entering the U.S. as one of six defendants charged with participating in a conspiracy to steal trade secrets and commit economic espionage against the United States. Their alleged goal was to set up a factory in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that would develop and manufacture a series of high technology products that would have both civilian and military applications.

The 32-count indictment alleges that, with the financial support of the PRC and the PRC’s Tianjin University, in eastern China, the six conspirators established a shell corporation in the Cayman Islands, Novana, and a plant that could produce products from the information stolen from the US entities. The conspirators had filed for patents in both the US and PRC.

The two American companies at the center of their scheme were Avago Technologies (Avago), a California-based company, and Skyworks Solutions, Inc., based in Massachuetts. Avago is a leading designer, developer and supplier of a range of analog, digital and mixed signal products used in, e.g., cellular phones and tablets. The intellectual property allegedly stolen from Avago involved its patented Film Bulk Acoustic Resonators, known as FBAR. Continue reading this post on Crowell & Moring's trade secrets blog, CrowellTradeSecretsTrends.com.

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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