Privacy & Data Security Law Blog

Privacy & Data Security Law Blog addresses recent developments in the privacy and data security arena, and includes practical implementation tips and lessons learned from the cases discussed.

Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Trade Secret Theft 11/26/19

A Chinese national, and former scientist for Phillips 66, pled guilty to stealing trade secret information from his former employer related to the development of a product worth more than $1 billion. Honjin Tan had been charged in December 2018. As part of a plea agreement, he admitted to “intentionally copying and downloading research and development materials without authorization from his employer.”

Court Finds a List of “Confidential Information” Not Enough to Equal “Trade Secrets” 11/22/19

On November 8, 2019, a California District Court dismissed both California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) and federal Defend Trade Secrets Act claims at the Motion to Dismiss stage for failure to sufficiently describe the allegedly stolen trade secrets.  Zoom Imaging Sols., Inc. v. Roe et al., 2019 WL 5862594, at *5 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 2019). 

Engineer Charged with Stealing Trade Secrets and Sending to Iran 11/21/19

On October 21, 2019, federal prosecutors in Detroit charged Amin Hasanzadeh, a senior hardware engineer, with allegedly sending corporate trade secrets to his brother in Iran while working at a Michigan company which serves the auto and aerospace industries. According to prosecutors, Hasanzadeh was funneling sensitive technical data from his unnamed employer, “Victim Company A,” for more than a year.

Convicted Businessman Intercepted at O’Hare for Stealing Trade Secrets Sentenced to One Year and One Day of Jail Time 10/23/19

Earlier this year, a federal jury in Chicago convicted Robert O’Rourke, an employee of a cast-iron manufacturing firm, for stealing trade secrets and attempting to bring them to his new employer, a rival Chinese company.

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