25 Jan 2020

Risk Management: Investigation and Correction of Employee Trade Secrets Theft

Background

  • A manufacturer of specialty chemicals had lost 70% of company customer base due to TS theft
  • The previous Operations Director in China had removed electronic drawings and other IP over a 2-year period, set up a competing company and bribed the purchasing managers to move their purchases to his new company.
  • EWA was engaged to investigate the claim and develop counter-actions

Approach

Step 1: Risk Identification
  • Investigation and confirmation of the existence of the new company and the individual’s equity ownership
  • EWA obtained product samples and verified a trademark violation
Step 2: Risk Mitigation
  • Recruitment of local Chinese attorneys and the filing of a legal claim against both the company and the individual
  • The competitive office, workforce, sub-contractors and customer base visitors were investigated
  • EWA contacted the client’s original customer base to inform them of the various illegal actions and acts of corporate espionage
  • Legal proceedings cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality restrictions
Step 3: Long-Term Risk Prevention
  • Development of a comprehensive asset protection program

Results

  • 75% of the lost customer base returned to the client within 7 months
  • No new acts of corporate espionage or theft
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