Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trial Set to Begin in Economic Espionage Case Involving China

Jaikumar Vijayan writes on ComputerWorld:

A jury trial is set to begin in a somewhat rare trade-secret theft case in which federal prosecutors are trying to prove that two engineers misappropriated trade secrets from a U.S. technology company to benefit China's government.

The case is being prosecuted under a rarely used provision of the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996, which deals with the theft of trade secrets for the benefit of a foreign nation. The law was passed in response to a perceived need to protect U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property from foreign government-sponsored theft.

There have been only five cases so far in which individuals have been indicted under this provision in the EEA. Last June, Xiaodong Meng, 44, a software engineer born in China, became the first to be sentenced under the law.

Meng was sentenced to two years and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 after he pleaded guilty to, among other things (PDF document), stealing at least six source-code products and more than 100 other software components from his employer, Quantum 3D Inc.

More here.


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