Four employees were fined and imprisoned for criminal infringement of their employer’s trade secrets for copying the source code from their employer’s apps.
Located in Beijing, the employer developed and provided mobile software, including a cache clean-up app. The four employees provided product design, technology development and business development for the cache clean-up app and other software products for the employer. They signed confidentiality and non-compete clauses as part of their employment contracts. During their employment, the four employees conspired together and used the employer’s source code, business operations data and marketing strategy to develop a mobile app with a cache clean-up function. The four employees resigned their employment to establish their own business providing the app.
The employer noticed that the main business, software source code and client base of the company established by the four former employees were all remarkably similar to his own. The employer filed a case with the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau accusing the four former employees of infringing on the employer’s trade secrets.