*Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

In January 2016, U.S. federal prosecutors (Department of Justice-DOJ) in Pennsylvania indicted five people for allegedly stealing trade secrets from UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Two of the accused were scientists at GSK’s U.S. facility in Pennsylvania. A third was the twin-sister of one of the GSK scientists, and another was the husband of the other GSK scientist.

According to the DOJ press release the theft occurred in order to benefit a Chinese company.

The following five (5) defendants were charged with trade secrets theft:

  • YUE XUE; (GSK scientist)
  • TIAN XUE (her twin-sister)
  • LUCY XI (GSK scientist)
  • YAN MEI; (her husband)
  • TAO LI

A key figure in this conspiracy is former GSK scientist: YU XUE, a/k/a “Joyce.”

Here is a quote from the complaint,

“YU XUE (“Joyce”) e-mailed … from her GSK e-mail account to her personal account and then forwarded that intellectual property to her conspirators … also used her GSK computer to download a substantial amount of intellectual property from GSK’s network, apparently onto a thumb drive or other portable storage device, to send this information to her conspirators.”

***I discussed this case in five (5) consecutive posts on my blog in October 2018, titled, “Composition of a Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise-Case Study, Parts 1-5”


Just this week there was an additional action taken by the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) that puts another twist on this case.

As it turns out, not only was “Joyce’s” sister involved in the conspiracy, but “Joyce’s” brother was involved as well.

According to recent press reports, GONGDA XUE, the “Joyce’s” brother worked at a drug company in Switzerland during the time of the conspiracy in which he’d received stolen GSK trade secrets from his sister (“Joyce”) and used the Switzerland drug company’s facility to perform tests. The results of the tests were then passed onto to conspirators in China.