In mid-2013 Beijing-based wind turbine manufacturer and exporter Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. (Sinovel) was charged with theft of intellectual property from US energy technology company AMSC, formerly American Superconductor Inc.
Sinovel purchased software from AMSC that helped to regulate the flow of electricity from wind turbines into a power grid. In 2011, with the help of a former AMSC employee, Sinovel reportedly stole part of AMSC’s software code and fitted it to its existing wind turbines. After stealing the code, Sinovel then refused to pay AMSC for $800 million worth of products and services the company had pledged to buy.
In January 2018 Sinovel was convicted in a US District Court of various charges, including conspiracy, theft of trade secrets, and wire fraud. According to media sources, AMSC sought roughly US $1.2 billion in damages from Sinovel in Chinese courts, alleging that Sinovel fitted the illegally-obtained code to more than 1,000 wind turbines. Sinovel may face hundreds of millions of dollars in potential fines imposed by US authorities.
Australia, like many countries, is looking at overhauling and strengthening its various anti-corruption laws. A number of new laws have been proposed recently that would change the way Australia handles corruption and bribery cases. If adopted these new proposed laws could be a big step toward making action on corruption in Australia much easier and more effective.
FCPA Blog has a great article about the proposed new laws, and we very much suggest you read the full article there, but here we provide a summary of a few of the bigger changes these laws would bring about:
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies are a major topic at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. While cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are not always held in high regard due to their volatility, lack of a supportive financial structure, and history of association with illicit trade, the blockchain, one of the technologies behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is being hailed by some as a potential tool to increase financial security and transparency. This potential for blockchain is now being tested within Brazil to combat corruption in land allocation.
A blockchain is a continuously-growing list of records (called blocks) of transactions that are publicly held on every computer involved in the blockchain. Since the blockchain records who records and when they were and is publicly viewable by anyone, it is used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to track and record transactions without worry that records are being fraudulently altered.