January 25 (Renewables Now) - Chinese company Sinovel Wind Group Co Ltd (SHA:601558) was convicted on Wednesday of stealing trade secrets from US energy-tech company AMSC (NASDAQ:AMSC) back in 2011.
After 11 days of trial, a jury sitting in Madison, Wisconsin, convicted the Chinese wind technology firm of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, theft of trade secrets, and wire fraud, the US Justice Department said. The sentence will be announced on June 4.
AMSC could gain hundreds of millions of dollars from the prolonged lawsuit. Sinovel had awarded the US company contracts worth over USD 800 million (EUR 647m) for products and services, including software that controls the flow of electricity from turbines to the grid, but AMSC was never paid. Instead, Sinovel conspired with the other defendants, Su Liying, deputy director of the Chinese firm’s R&D department, and Zhao Haichun, a technology manager for Sinovel, to obtain AMSC’s copyrighted information and trade secrets. Through Su and Zhao, Sinovel convinced Dejan Karabasevic, at the time head of AMSC Windtec’s automation engineering department in Austria, to leave the firm and join Sinovel. Karabasevic helped steal intellectual property (IP) from AMSC computers.
“Sinovel nearly destroyed an American company by stealing its intellectual property,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan said. Evidence presented at trial shows that after the theft, AMSC lost over a billion in shareholder equity and nearly 700 jobs.