A Chicago federal jury convicted a longtime employee of stealing a Woodstock manufacturer’s trade secrets and planning to take a job overseas with a Chinese rival.
The case shows the difficulties manufacturers face in protecting intellectual property. It's a key issue in the current trade talks between the United States and China over whether to hike tariffs again. Last fall the United States asked the World Trade Organization to investigate possible violations.
"There’s a tremendous amount of sensitivity right now about China's theft of intellectual property," said Grant Drutchas, a partner at Chicago-based law firm McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff whose clients include Boeing and medical device manufacturer Stryker.