A former Silicon Valley Chinese engineer was accused of stealing trade secrets from a San Jose technology company and bringing them back to a Chinese company, Mercury reported. Santa Clara County High Court recently ruled that he had to pay his former employer $66 million in compensation to make up for the damage.——LED lighting
Plaintiff Lumileds is a LED lighting company in San Jose.
(photo from LP, copyright belongs to the original author)
Defendant Chen, Chinese nationality, has the right of abode in the United States. Graduated from Tsinghua University, and later received a master's degree and doctorate degree in chemical engineering from Yale and UCLA. He joined Lumileds in 2005 and became the chief scientist of the company (principle scientist).——LED lighting
Chen resigned from Lumileds in 2012 and returned home to join Elec-Tech, an electrical company, which is responsible for research and development of high-brightness UV and LED lamps. Chen is now the executive vice general manager (VP) of the company.——LED lighting
The lawsuit said that while Chen was still working for Lumileds, he had already signed a private employment contract with Elec-Tech in China and had taken nearly a thousand documents from Lumileds when he left, including encrypted documents involving trade secrets.——LED lighting
The lawsuit alleged that Chen brought the business secrets back to the country and gained significant improvement in the workplace.
"Although he was only a research engineer at Lumileds, since joining Elec-Tech, Mr. Chen has been promoted to vice president and one of the highest-ranking executives in the company. He is one of the highest-paid executives at Elec-Tech."——LED lighting
In August 10th, the Supreme Court of Santa Clara ruled that Lumileds was successful. As a compensation for the original employer, Chen was fined 66 million dollars.——LED lighting
In fact, as early as 2014, Lumileds sued Chen and Elec-Tech, who worked with him, but later found that the case did not fall within the jurisdiction of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and withdrew the lawsuit.——LED lighting
In the lawsuit, Lumileds also accused Elec-Tech of unfair competition: "Several former Lumileds employees were forced to resign after being hired by Elec-Tech because they refused to share trade secrets involving Lumileds'core technology."——LED lighting
On August 14, Elec-Tech (Guangdong Dehao Runda Electric Co., Ltd.) issued a notice denying the charges from San Jose.
The U.S. side also rejected Chen's visa application, which prevented him from returning to San Jose to defend himself.
Elec-Tech says that Lumileds's so-called trade secret is actually a well-known technology in the industry. The law firm they commissioned emphasised that "DHL's technology is self-developed and has never used Lumileds'technology."——LED lighting
Finally, Elec-Tech said that the future reconciliation with Lumileds would not be excluded.
Regardless of the ultimate direction, Chen's case has aroused heated discussion among netizens in several well-known Chinese forums.
Some netizens exposed Chen's salary situation after returning home, commenting that his salary from just returned to China was 1 million a year, to the current salary of 168,000, the number of shares is zero, is also a warning to bring technology back to the country.——LED lighting
Some netizens refute that the annual salary in the financial statements can not be believed, fearing that more and more people will bring technology back to China to eat spicy drinks, leading to American technology companies no longer dare to hire Chinese students or green card holders.
More netizens worry that the U.S. government has begun targeting Chinese at Silicon Valley technology companies, and more and more Chinese yard farmers are accused of stealing trade secrets.——LED lighting
(photo from Time, copyright belongs to the original author)
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