*Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

A couple of days ago, U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Adam Hickey was interviewed by CNBC.

Although he didn’t say anything we didn’t already know, he put into more urgent context the determination of the Chinese government to expand their research and development sectors by 2025 regardless of the means used.

This is worth reflecting on again.


Here are a few quotes from his interview:

“The issue … is that part of their [China’s] industrial policy, part of the way they try to accomplish that, is state-sponsored [trade secrets] theft or creating an environment that rewards or turns a blind eye to it,” 

“It’s a broader environment that encourages and rewards IP theft.”

“If you are looking for a smoking gun and you wait for it, you might end up with a gunshot.”


Since I started this blog in May 2016, I have often written about Chinese IP trade secrets theft. Here’s a bundle that can serve as case studies for each of his points:

Know Your Researcher – Academic Espionage – Trade Secrets Theft

China’s Notorious Thousand Talents Program – Equal Opportunity Recruiter

Does China Threaten–Students, Researchers, Scientists–Working or Studying in the U.S. to Bring Back IP or Their Families Are Put in Jeopardy?

Composition of a Chinese Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise: Part 1

Composition of a Chinese Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise: Part 2

Composition of a Chinese Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise: Part 3

Composition of a Chinese Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise: Part 4

Composition of a Chinese Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise: Part 5

Composition of a Chinese Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise: A Family Affair–UPDATE

Employee Use of Company Computers and Email Continues to Chronically Facilitate Trade Secrets Theft


And just last week the indictment of a husband and wife Chinese IP theft team was announced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Here are excerpts from the announcement:

“Zhou and Chen are spouses who worked in separate medical research labs at… {Ohio’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital] Research Institute for 10 years each (Zhou from 2007 until 2017 and Chen from 2008 until 2018).

“Exosomes play a key role in the research, identification, and treatment of a range of medical conditions, including necrotizing enterocolitis (a condition found in premature babies), liver fibrosis and liver cancer.

“The husband and wife allegedly founded a company in China in 2015 without the hospital’s knowledge.  While Zhou and Chen continued to be employed by Nationwide Children’s, they marketed products and services related to exosome isolation through their Chinese company.”


I could not agree more with the comment made by the former U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (Daniel Marti) in the “U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, FY 2017 – 2019”

“The threats posed by … misappropriation of trade secrets, are real and multidimensional. Our work must be carried forward with a sense of urgency …”

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