GM wants tough punishment in hybrid secrets theft

Apr 26, 2013 by Ed White

General Motors Co. wants a long prison sentence next week for a former employee and her husband who were convicted of stealing hybrid vehicle technology for potential use by competitors in China. Trade secrets were found on at least seven computers owned by ex-GM engineer Shanshan Du and Yu Qin, according to prosecutors. The government doesn't believe the information made it to China, although Qin had claimed to have made contact with GM competitors overseas.

"There is a clear and well-recognized need for the United States government, including its courts, to take aggressive steps to deter others from stealing the type of vital at issue in this matter," said John Calabrese, vice president for global vehicle engineering.

Du and Qin face eight to 10 years in prison under , and Calabrese asked U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani in a letter this week to "impose the maximum allowable sentence." But Battani has flexibility when the suburban Detroit couple returns to court Tuesday.

Du, 54, was convicted Nov. 30 of conspiracy and possessing trade secrets without approval. Her 52-year-old husband was found guilty of the same crimes, along with fraud and obstruction of justice.

The government accused Du of seeking a transfer within GM to get access to and said she began copying documents by the end of 2003. She copied thousands of documents in 2005, five days after getting a severance offer from the automaker, according to the indictment.

By that summer, Qin was telling people he had a deal to provide hybrid technology to a GM competitor in China and had set up his own company, Millennium Technology International, the government said.

Prosecutors Cathleen Corken and Michael Martin are recommending a prison sentence within the guidelines.

Du's sentencing memo hasn't been filed yet. But Qin's attorney, Frank Eamen, is seeking probation with home confinement, saying GM never suffered an actual loss.

"The GM technology possessed by the defendants was never sold or offered for sale to any other entity. Therefore, no other entity ever made use of the technology to the detriment of GM," Eaman said in a court filing.

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User comments : 12

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Osiris1
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 26, 2013
GM is going to hand the technology to the Chinese on a silver plate anyway, so what is the controversy all about.........unless it is to 'whom' in China that GM wants to hand it?
VendicarE
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2013
Convicted of possessing trade secrets ay?

Isn't it amusing how in a land that claims to be free, the Corporations that rule that land have made it a crime to posses knowledge that they don't want you to know?

What a moronic country.
geokstr
1.8 / 5 (13) Apr 27, 2013
Convicted of possessing trade secrets ay?

Isn't it amusing how in a land that claims to be free, the Corporations that rule that land have made it a crime to posses knowledge that they don't want you to know?

What a moronic country.

What a moronic comment.

Isn't it amusing that in order to prove how "free" we are, we're supposed to just give the fruits of billions in private research to the non-free world, who will use it to undercut us by paying their workers 2 handfuls of rice a day. Right. What a twisted view of how incentives and markets work.

So, since it's quite evident you hate the US, when are you going to be moving to one of your fave socialist utopias - like North Korea, or Cuba, or China? It's OK if you let the proverbial door hit you on the way out too.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 27, 2013
@geokstr So, since it's quite evident you hate the US, when are you going to be moving to one of your fave socialist utopias - like North Korea, or Cuba, or China? It's OK if you let the proverbial door hit you on the way out too.
The Chinese Communists have a magnitude more money and wealth than your broke House of Representatives, you throwback. Your sad economy is measuring last on most metrics, alongside New Guinea and Algeria. Too bad your native Czech won't take you back. Sadly for you, they've moved on
MWS
3 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2013
While it is documented that world wide IP theft is the norm in China (cell phone designs and technology, computer software, manufacturing designs, on and on)

This is merely a case of disgruntled former employees thieving to make a buck.

Commenters on this thread seem to fall in the category of having never made/thought of anything of value. So it follows that for them stealing IP is OK.
dav_daddy
1.7 / 5 (12) Apr 27, 2013
Convicted of possessing trade secrets ay?

Isn't it amusing how in a land that claims to be free, the Corporations that rule that land have made it a crime to posses knowledge that they don't want you to know?

What a moronic country.


It's called "intellectual property." If I spent years and hundreds of millions dollars developing something only to have some moron ex-employee sell it or give it away your damn right somebody needs to go to jail!
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2013
There is no such thing.

"It's called "intellectual property."' - DayDaddy

"If I spent years and hundreds of millions dollars developing something..." - DayDaddy

Then you had better keep it secret if you don't want others to know about it.

Failure to do that you YOUR FAILURE, and YOUR PROBLEM.

VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2013
How much did Einstein sell his ideas for?

"Commenters on this thread seem to fall in the category of having never made/thought of anything of value." - MWS

Why didn't Newton demand payment from other physicists for using his laws of motion?

You do realize that you are a low grade MORON don't you?
VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2013
Awww... Poor widdwle slave boy... He demands to be free but isn't willing to pay the price for his freedom.

"Isn't it amusing that in order to prove how "free" we are, we're supposed to just give the fruits of billions in private research to the non-free world, who will use it to undercut us by paying their workers 2 handfuls of rice a day. " - Geokstr

His Corporate slave masters are pleased that he works to keep the bars on his prison cell as strong as possible.
MWS
not rated yet Apr 28, 2013
VendicarE
Seems that we hit a nerve with you. So if I took a character out of whatever comic book you are working on and used it to make money would you object?
VendicarE
not rated yet Apr 28, 2013
"So if I took a character out of whatever comic book you are working on and used it to make money would you object?" - MWS

I don't do comic books, but I do still occasionally write software.

You are free to use anything you like in any way you see fit.

Having said that... Your thought pattern's are too incoherent for you to realize the distinction between knowing something, and commercially producing something.

GM demands the criminalization of the transfer of knowledge.

Your whining supports the criminialization of that knowledge in the production of competing products.

The production of goods for sale is historically and correctly regulated by government for the betterment of society as a whole.

I agree with such corporate regulation, as long as such limits expire after a period no longer than several decades.

The criminalization of the communication of corporate secrets is never legitimate however, since it criminalizes the possession of knowledge and the communication CONT
VendicarE
not rated yet Apr 28, 2013
CONT... of that knowledge. This is a violation of the most fundamental of human rights. The right to freedom of thought and the right of communicating a person's individual thoughts to others.

What such laws - as the ones used by GM - do, is to place the financial interests of Corporations like GM above the fundamental rights of human beings.

It is the highest form of Immorality.

PERIOD.