In January of this year, Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. was convicted of stealing trade secrets from U.S. company AMSC Inc. The theft caused AMSC, more than $800 million in losses and forced the company to lay off more than half its global work force. Sinovel’s sentencing—which could include fines exceeding $1 billion and a multiyear probationary period—is scheduled for June 2018. READ MORE
Just over four years ago, in January 2014, a court sentenced former Korn/Ferry regional director David Nosal to one year and one day in prison for violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Espionage Act. Nosal appealed the sentence, but his appeals ultimately failed: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Nosal’s sentence, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the case. Luckily for Nosal, his 2014 motion for release pending appeal was granted, so he has not served any time during the four years of appeals. READ MORE
What’s in a name? Obviously a lot, as businesses in all industries invest significant time and money to protect their reputations. But, in some sectors, the line between positive and pejorative can be quite thin.
Take email marketing and cybersecurity, for example: What exactly distinguishes a successful high-volume email marketer from a spammer? And how can we distinguish a well-intentioned security analyst exposing vulnerabilities from a nefarious hacker? (Those familiar with techspeak will surely recall the familiar “white hat” and “black hat” dichotomy, but even that, as Wired has observed, is subject to gray areas of its own.) READ MORE
There’s been a lot of news lately about the Chinese military allegedly launching cyber attacks to steal U.S. trade secrets. This has gotten people riled up, including the President of the United States, who issued a 5-point plan for protecting American trade secrets. The White House called on the public to make suggestions for new federal legislation to combat this growing threat. (Submissions were due April 22, 2013.)
This is a time of great opportunity to do something big to protect U.S. trade secrets. Unfortunately, some proposed solutions aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity. Some industry groups, for example, have suggested adopting new federal trade secret legislation that would not preempt state laws and only cover cases of “international misappropriation,” or only cover misappropriation by or for the benefit of foreign governments, companies, or individuals.
Respectfully, measures of this type don’t address the real issue and aren’t seizing the moment. The real lesson of Chinese cyberhacking is not that China has hackers targeting America, but that U.S. companies’ trade secrets are READ MORE