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Ex-Employees Allegedly Steal Micron Trade Secrets Valued At Over $400 Million
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sixscrews
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sixscrews,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/8/2018 | 1:51:31 PM
All too familiar
I'm familiar with insider based IP thefts.

In 2011, a company I once worked for was victimized by a similar scheme. The object of the theft was the source code for software that controlled inverters the company was selling in China.

I have a somewhat tenuous personal connection to this case, as the software embodied some of my work for the company prior to my departure in 2002 - and in 2011 I owned 75 shares of their stock given as compensation for some of the stolen IP.

So I have the rather dubious fame of having a role in developing of something the Chinese thought worth stealing.   Don't think I will ask that be put on my gravestone.

On the other hand, and not as a justification but as a bit of history, in the 19th century US companies used IP developed in England to gain advantage in the textile and other industries.

The thing that really burns me about the IP the Chinese stole was that they could have invented around the ideas disclosed in publicly available patent documents.

Lazy, cheaper, faster - or something else?

As a reader of Chinese literature in my retirement I have found many references to the idea that any exchange between parties has a winner and a loser - equal exchanges are rare and usually denigrated.

And 70 years of pseudo-Marxist tyranny hasn't done much to inspire an idea of a civil society governed by the rule of law.

 
timwessels
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timwessels,
User Rank: Strategist
11/3/2018 | 11:49:02 AM
Espionage the old fashioned way
Well, state-sponsored espionage and theft of intellectual property are staples of how China, and other governments, operate. The Chinese government is mainly concerned with obtaining intellectual property of commercial and military value. Having former Micron employees walk out the door and turn over some of the company's intellectual property to a manufacturer in China is definitely old school, but it still works. While everyone protects against external security threats, the internal security threat remains ever present.


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