Brain-Dead on IP   Leave a comment

I’m always astonished to witness people ignoring warnings about lax intellectual property security.

Maybe intellectual property is an unfamiliar, unapproachable and utterly boring subject for the average person. Since most people have at least a passing interest in money, and IP theft cases can cost a company millions, the whole “not interested” scenario doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.

Millions of dollars you say? Yes, and it affects everyone.

Ironically, real stories as examples of how an IP theft can sting a company seem to be pretty interesting to people. Here’s one, just for fun:

From the “2010 U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement”:

U.S. Secret Service
Silicon Valley Engineer Arrested for Theft and Transfer of Trade Secrets to China: In July 2009, a technology company’s chief legal counsel contacted the San Jose Resident Office of the USSS requesting investigative assistance in an ongoing theft of company trade secrets. An initial investigation identified three suspects and determined there was over $60 million in loss. The U S Attorney’s Office Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section requested that the San Jose USSS Office investigate this case for Federal prosecution. The agents discovered that a former employee established multiple businesses in order to develop and sell Global Positioning System (GPS) applications for mobile phones. The employee also recruited two other employees, Chinese Nationals, to integrate the stolen software source code into his products. The suspect also acquired at least one investor and attempted to recruit others in order to advance the interests of his businesses in the U S and China. On November 10, 2010, the three suspects were indicted for conspiracy, theft of trade secrets, possession of trade secrets and foreign transportation of stolen property. On November 16, 2010, San Jose USSS special agents arrested the former employee for the above listed charges.” (emphasis added)

So maybe you’re not in the geolocation business and that seems boring too. However, at some point in your life, you probably took a prescription medication. Maybe you thought your prescription was expensive. Maybe this has something to do with it:

Wed. Feb. 3, 2011 – UPDATE 3-Ex-Bristol-Myers worker accused of secrets theft

“A former Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N) employee was charged with stealing company secrets and proprietary information as part of a plan to set up his own pharmaceutical company in India, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.”

For fiscal year 2009, Bristol-Myers Squibb spent $3.6 Billion on R&D. Shalin Jhaveri, the guy who stole BMS’s IP and almost setup a company to profit from it, spent very little.

So that was fun. A couple interesting stories about people who basically took advantage of a company for self-enrichment. They were caught, damage contained, company vindicated, everyone’s happy – end of subject.

Not quite…


Posted February 14, 2011 by jeffkeith in Security

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