December 28, 2018

AMSC collects final $25M payment over Chinese trade secret theft

A Chinese firm the U.S. Department of Justice said stole trade secrets from Ayer renewal energy firm AMSC has made its final settlement payment to the company.

AMSC announced the Sinovel Wind Group payment of $25 million on Thursday. The first settlement installment of $32.5 million was made in July.

Sinovel, a manufacturer and exporter of wind turbines, was fined the maximum amount in July when the Department of Justice said AMSC's losses from the theft of trade secrets cost AMSC more than $550 million. Sinovel was convicted of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, theft of trade secrets, and wire fraud in January following an 11-day jury trial in Wisconsin.

Sinovel will pay $850,000 to additional victims within its year of probation, the Department of Justice said.

Sinovel stole proprietary wind turbine technology from AMSC in order to produce its own turbines powered by the stolen intellectual property, according to the Department of Justice. AMSC developed software, which regulates the flow of electricity from wind turbines to electrical grids, in Wisconsin and elsewhere. At the time of the theft in 2011, Sinovel had contracted with AMSC for more than $800 million in products and services to be used for the wind turbines Sinovel manufactured, sold and serviced.

Sinovel's actions cost AMSC dearly. The company, which downsized early this year from a sprawling Devens facility to a smaller one in Ayer, lost more than $1 billion in shareholder equity and almost 700 jobs, more than half its global workforce. It sold its 355,000-square-foot headquarters for $23 million.


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