Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Theft of trade secrets from Dow, Cargill by Kexue Huang

See the Reuters story Chinese man pleads guilty for U.S. trade secret theft, which illustrates the lack of protection engendered by confidentiality (nondisclosure) agreements:

Huang admitted that, despite signing a confidentiality agreement, he passed numerous secrets about Dow's products to others doing research in Germany and China, according to his plea agreement filed in federal court in Indiana.

BusinessWeek noted: Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said "Huang used his insider status at two of America's largest agricultural companies to steal valuable trade secrets for use in his native China."

CanadianBusiness noted: Justice Department spokesman Tim Horty says Dow invested $300 million developing information allegedly stolen, but the plea agreement values the total losses from Huang's conduct at $7 million to $20 million.

Post at the BBC:


The Debate: Patent vs Trade Secret – An Overview :

Although patents offer the most comprehensive protection, the application process is not only time consuming and demanding, but it requires the subject matter to be publicly disclosed. On the other hand, a party can seek to protect its invention by way of a trade secret.


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