Paul Chan Comments on Role of Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage in the US-China Trade War

Managing Principal Paul Chan recently spoke with IPWatchdog regarding the highly publicized case between Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies and California based semiconductor startup CNEX Labs. In the article, “Huawei/CNEX and the Role of Trade Secrets in the U.S.-China Trade War,” Chan details how the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has resulted in an increase of cases similar to Huawei vs CNEX, in which Chinese nationals are accused of compromising trade secrets of their U.S. employers.

Chan also notes the complexities and difficulties of trying such cases under the Economic Espionage Act stating, “A lot of times, Economic Espionage Act cases are brought for deterrent value against Chinese nationals who might be outside of the court’s jurisdiction. If the goal is to deter this conduct generally and try to impress upon companies that there are serious negative consequences for engaging in such misconduct, then it’s effective. But it’s less clear whether the Act is necessarily a better vehicle for enforcing trade secrets on a day-to-day basis or for obtaining money damages than other trade secret laws, whether those are state statutes or the Defend Trade Secrets Act.”

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