Former US Dow scientist convicted of stealing trade secrets

07 February 2011 23:26  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--A former Dow Chemical research scientist was convicted on Monday of stealing trade secrets and selling them to China, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said.

The department said that 74-year-old Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David W Liou, was found guilty by a federal trial jury in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and faces up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 (€185,000).

According to evidence presented at trial, Liou came to the US from China for graduate work and stayed on to work for Dow beginning in 1965. After 27 years with the company, he retired in 1992.

While at Dow, the department said, Liou was a research scientist at the company’s Plaquemine, Louisiana, facility, working on development of and manufacturing processes for Dow’s chlorinated polyethylene (CPE), Tyrin.

The department said Liou had access to trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information related to Dow’s Tyrin CPE process and product technology.

“The evidence at trial established that Liou conspired with at least four current and former employees of Dow’s facilities in Plaquemine and Stade, Germany, to misappropriate those trade secrets in an effort to develop and market CPE process design packages to various Chinese companies,” according to the department.

Liou also bribed current and former Dow employees for CPE-related information, the DOJ said, and travelled extensively in China to market the stolen technology.

In addition to conviction on one count of theft of trade secrets, Liou also was found guilty of perjury committed during a lawsuit deposition about his dealings with China. The deposition was related to a civil suit that Dow brought against Liou.

The department did not immediately say whether the four former or current Dow employees with whom Liou conspired to steal the CPE technology have been or will be charged.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Joe Kamalick
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