January 31, 2018

U.S. court finds Chinese company guilty of stealing AMSC secrets

Grant Welker
AMSC's Devens offices.

A federal court has found a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer guilty of stealing trade secrets from Devens-based AMSC, which the company says caused the loss of more than $1 billion in market capitalization and 70 percent of its workforce.

A jury of 12 returned a guilty verdict on three counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, theft of trade secrets and wire fraud.

Sentencing for Sinovel Wind Group, including two of that company's executives and a former AMSC employee convicted in the case is set for June 4.

In a statement, AMSC President and CEO Daniel McGahn called on Chinese courts to similarly hold Sinovel accountable in ongoing civil cases in that country.

According to the June 2013 indictment, Sinovel purchased software and equipment manufactured and sold by AMSC for wind turbines made by Sinovel until 2011, when the company owed AMSC more than $100 million for products and services, not including contracts to purchase more than $700 million in goods and services.

The indictment alleged two Sinovel employees Zhao Haichun amd Su Liying, recruited an AMSC employee working in Austria to join Sinovel. That employee, Dajan Karabasevic, copied intellectual property from the AMSC computer system, including the source code for software used on wind turbines.

McGahn said the company welcomes the opportunity to work with the Trump Administration to protect the intellectual property of companies in the U.S. According to court records, the indictment was issued more than three years before President Donald Trump took office.

In a 2013 statement, McGahn called on the then Obama administration and Congress to re-evaluate the U.S.'s trade relationship with China.

""Enforcement and protection of intellectual property – the DNA of new products and technologies – is essential for U.S. companies to compete successfully in a global economy," McGahn then said. "This is impossible if companies in countries such as China are brazenly stealing trade secrets through industrial and cyber espionage."


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