A tech start-up from California’s Silicon Valley accused a tech giant in China, Huawei, of stealing trade secrets from them. A court found that the Chinese company did steal those secrets.
However, in an interesting twist, the jury also claimed that there was no real financial damage to the start-up or gain for Huawei as a result of that intellectual property theft. As such, though the start-up was shown to be correct in their claims, they were not awarded any financial damages.
The California-based company is a solid-state drive developer called Cnex. They accused the larger company of bullying them and trying to shut them down, stating that “We’re a small company. We didn’t seek this fight.”
Accusations flew in both directions, with Cnex claiming that Huawei attempted to reverse-engineer the products they were making in order to benefit from their ideas. Meanwhile, Huawei claimed that the Cnex founder, who used to work for them, took confidential documents on his way out the door and also attempted to bring other employees over to his new company.
The tech industry is extremely competitive. Technology is improving at a significant rate, and it’s important for companies to be at the forefront of that technology. This competition can lead to some contentious cases when companies attempt to use others’ ideas and information to help them get ahead — or are accused of doing that.
If your company has been a victim of intellectual property theft, especially if you feel like you may have to close your doors as a result, you need to know all of your legal options.