BLOGS: Trade Secrets Blog

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Thursday, March 27, 2008, 3/27/2008 10:42:00 AM

Economic Espionage -- South Koreans Getting Into the Act

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a story concerning an alleged case of criminal trade secrets misappropriation by a former research and development associate at Lubrizol.

The researcher, Kyung Kim, stands accused of of selling company trade secrets to a South Korean competitor, SK Chemicals -- allegedly meeting SK officials 17 times over a seven-year period. The claim is that he received $170,000 in return for the trade secrets provided. The two companies are competitors in the specialty chemicals area, particularly with respect to thermoplastic polyurethane.

According to the article, after downloading sensitive Lubrizol product data onto a computer, Kim traveled at least 17 times to Arizona, Canada and South Korea to meet with the executives. The meetings took place at hotels and condominiums and would finish with a $10,000 cash payment to Kim, usually in $100 bills, plus his travel expenses.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roberts is quoted as saying that the case "demonstrates that we are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who engage in industrial espionage to steal the intellectual capital of U.S. corporations."

Monday, March 24, 2008, 3/24/2008 07:26:00 AM

Turnabout? Fair Play? Americans Stealing Russian Oil Trade Secrets?

A man-bites-dog story from the Times of India, concerning economic espionage with the Americans and British allegedly stealing Russian trade secrets.

Russia's internal security agency announced the arrest of two Russian-Americans for their alleged involvement in economic espionage, a day after the raids on the offices of British oil major BP.

The agency, Russia's FSB, claimed that the duo was "illegally gathering secret commercial information for the benefit of several foreign oil and gas companies, in order to give them advantages over Russian competitors."

The FSB said charges were brought against the Zaslavsky brothers on March 18 and next day police seized documents from the central office of the TNK-BP, one of the largest crude producers in Russia. The Moscow office of British oil major BP was also raided by police.

The FSB may not be the most reliable agency, so let's take this one with a grain of salt for now.

Monday, March 10, 2008, 3/10/2008 09:52:00 AM

"No Secrets in Beer"

From the Aurora (IL) Beacon-News, we thought we'd start off the week with something a little up-beat. It's the story of the two Ebel brothers who turned their home brewing hobby into a retail business.

The brothers don't mind sharing their recipes with people who ask. According to the story, "others in the beer-for-retail industry are sometimes baffled by their willingness to spill their trade secrets, but the Ebels figure it's good for business."

"We'll always give out our recipes," he said. "There's no secrets in beer."
Great attitude, bros. Try their beer the next time you're in Geneva, Illinois.
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