Two Chinese Printer Consumables Companies Guilty of Infringing Seine Confidential Trade Information

According to the Guangzhou Southern Metropolis Daily, two printer consumable companies in China have been sanctioned, each with a penalty totaling about USD $5.78 million (RMB 35.6 million ) by the Zhuhai Intermediate People’s Court, for infringing the confidential trade information of Zhuhai Seine Technology Co.. Four defendants have been fined and jailed in this case. It is said to be the severest case of its kind.

The case was first ruled by Xiangzhou District People’s Court, Zhuhai, this February. But the defendants appealed to Zhuhai Intermediate People’s Court. Before the ruling by the higher Court, the defendants reached an agreement with Seine to compensate a total of about USD $4.87 million (RMB 30 million) for Seine’s loss. After this settlement, Seine wrote to the Court and requested a lenient sentencing upon the defendants.

The four defendants are ex-employees of Seine, two of whom were in high management positions. After leaving Seine, they incorporated their two companies and made use of confidentially important information stolen from Seine to manufacture the same type of consumables and sell them to Seine’s clients.

Zhuhai Intermediate People’s Court deems it as a case with severe circumstances. The illegal gains of both companies from the infringement amounted to USD $7.7 million, resulting in a loss of about USD $3.68 million (RMB 22.7 million) to Seine. Two of the four defendants are the principal criminals in this case. One of them was fined and jailed for 6 years; a second defendant was fined and jailed for 3 years. The other two were fined and sentenced to 2 years in prison, along with a 3-year probation.

Under the first ruling by Xiangzhou District People’s Court, the two companies would have been fined about USD $12.18 million (RMB 75 million), which more than doubled the amount determined by the higher Court, and all four defendants would be jailed for 3-6 years.

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