Ninth Circuit Affirms First Federal Criminal Jury Conviction for Economic Espionage

May 22, 2017

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on May 5, 2017 upheld the 2014 convictions of a California businessman, Walter Liew (“Liew”), and his company USA Performance Technology, Inc. (“USAPTI”), for various violations of the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (“EEA”) relating to Liew’s and USAPTI’s theft of trade secrets from E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (“DuPont”) and the sale of the trade secrets to state-owned companies in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”).

In so doing, Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the first federal jury conviction for charges arising under the EEA and potentially catalyzed more aggressive economic espionage and trade secret enforcement.

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