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The U.S. Response to China’s Theft and Acquisition of Trade Secrets

September 29, 2020 • Webinar

Starts: 2:00 PM (EDT)
Ends: 3:00 PM (EDT)

There’s been an increase in the number of criminal prosecutions of trade secret theft under the Economic Espionage Act over the past several years, including the pursuit of those behind state-sponsored cyber intrusions as well as a renewed focus on insider cases involving both private sector companies and academic institutions.

According to a June 2018 report by the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, China's theft of American intellectual property costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually. In late 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division stood up the China Initiative, which aims in part to “identify priority trade secret theft cases, ensure that investigations are adequately resourced, and work to bring them to fruition in a timely manner and according to the facts and applicable law” and “develop an enforcement strategy concerning non-traditional collectors (e.g., researchers in labs, universities and the defense industrial base) that are being coopted into transferring technology contrary to U.S. interests.”

Among the DOJ’s many recent high-profile indictments under the China Initiative are an 11-count indictment charging two Chinese nationals with stealing trade secrets and intellectual property from several U.S. biotech firms, including potential COVID-19 research, and an indictment of a Harvard University professor regarding his alleged participation in China’s Thousand Talents Program.

Join Crowell & Moring partners Caroline Brown, experienced national security attorney, and Jim Stronski, seasoned trade secrets litigator, to learn:
  • The drivers incentivizing trade secret theft;
  • Enforcement trends in China-related criminal trade secret cases;
  • Other mechanisms the U.S. government uses to combat foreign acquisition and theft of trade secrets;
  • How China’s commitments in the 2020-China Phase One trade agreement impact trade secret protection;
  • What these developments mean for companies operating in the U.S. and China; and
  • Best practices to help protect your company’s trade secrets.

Contact: Nicole Steckman (

Crowell & Moring Participant(s):
Caroline E. Brown
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2509
James K. Stronski
Senior Counsel – New York
Phone: +1.212.895.4217
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