Chinese Researchers Threaten Intellectual Property at Universities
Chinese researchers threaten intellectual property at universities. Researchers threaten intellectual property at universities. The FBI has sounded an alarm on intellectual property theft by Chinese researchers at American universities and colleges. Technology and trade secrets are under attack, and campus administrators are being advised on how they can prevent it. You can always contact an intellectual property lawyer for helpful tips. The news comes amid a series of security compromises evidencing foreign interference with domestic research at numerous higher education institutions.
Many of the problems stem from the participation of academic researchers through foreign talent recruitment programs. Specific cases that were cited in the Campus Safety article include:
- Patented cancer research stolen from the Medical College of Wisconsin and given to a Chinese university
- New York University School of Medicine researchers paid by Chinese interests to access non-public information about research at the school
- A University of Kansas professor was indicted on fraud charges for failing to disclose his employment with a Chinese university
Universities and colleges face the difficulty of balancing national security with the need for open academic research. They don’t want to inhibit free inquiry, but that requires sharing and using sensitive information among numerous parties. As with any intellectual development program, the involvement of more individuals means a higher likelihood of theft.
Several institutions have taken steps to protect their intellectual property against foreign security threats. The Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities have compiled a best practices list. Many of these are of value to any organization that handles trade secrets, patented material, and other confidential information:
- Sharing effective steps that are already being taken to ensure the security of the research enterprise on campus. This helps build awareness and communication across the institution.
- Communicating to faculty the importance of fully and accurately disclosing conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment. This includes foreign affiliations and positions and foreign financial conflicts.
- Using working groups and task forces to bring together key faculty and staff stakeholders to devise solutions
- Increased faculty and staff training activities
- Reviewing foreign gifts, grants, contracts, and collaborations for any security threats
- Protection of intellectual property and the use of technology control plans
- Maintaining regular contact with federal security and intelligence agencies
- Adopting safeguards and protection for foreign travel, including software use restrictions and security briefings
- Comprehensive vetting of foreign visitors, including securely hosting them, while on campus
- Strengthening policies that ensure full compliance with federal export control requirements
- Hiring staff with specific export control compliance expertise
If your company handles or develops intellectual property, you already understand the challenges of protecting it from misuse and misappropriation. Trade secret theft can undermine the profits or reputation of a business, and can make it vulnerable to competitors. It can even open the door to lawsuits for failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid the loss. Although breaches can happen in any environment, there are ways to anticipate and counteract them. Working with an experienced intellectual property attorney, you can protect what your company has invested so much to build.
, you already understand the challenges of protecting it from misuse and misappropriation. Trade secret theft can undermine the profits or reputation of a business, and can make it vulnerable to competitors. It can even open the door to lawsuits for failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid the loss. Although breaches can happen in any environment, there are ways to anticipate and counteract them. Working with an experienced intellectual property attorney, you can protect what your company has invested so much to build.
Preventing intellectual property theft goes further than just patent and trademark registration. It even goes beyond taking cases to court to litigate against violators. These are critical services, but they don’t fully protect a business. A dedicated lawyer should also review your company’s practices and advise as to threats, whether foreign or domestic. There may be lapses in security, or threats that have been overlooked. It’s vital to the profitability of your company that risks be minimized. Our lawyers have the necessary business skills to understand how your company’s operations could make it susceptible to theft.
Let Us Help Protect Your Intellectual Property
The most effective way to combat intellectual property theft is to prevent it in the first place. Nothing can absolutely guarantee that your business won’t be victimized. But you owe it to your organization to reduce the likelihood of lost trade secrets and other data. Let the attorneys of Eddington & Worley help. We can review your company’s various intellectual properties and ensure steps have been taken to secure them. Call and schedule a consultation with us.