Intellectual property, theft and Minnesota

Recently, a technical director at Valspar in Minneapolis was caught for attempting to steal $20 million of chemical formulas from the firm. His goal was to trade the formulas for a high-ranking position with a Chinese firm. For the attempted intellectual property theft, the former Valspar worker was sentenced to 15 months in jail. The story of intellectual property theft is a growing one in Minnesota and the United States.

Companies across the United States lose as much as $250 billion from intellectual property theft every year. In Minnesota, firms miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars. The companies in Minnesota most affected by intellectual property theft produce electronic circuits, advanced microprocessors, films, industrial coatings and medical devices according to a local FBI agent. Even though intellectual property theft is on the rise, prosecutions of such crimes do not always follow.

The prosecution of intellectual property crime is unique because companies affected by intellectual property theft are not always eager to admit a crime was perpetrated against them or pursue prosecution. According to law enforcement officials, companies that suffer intellectual property theft can be reluctant to pursue prosecution because they worry about their public perception and how public perception will affect their stock price. Stockholders may suspect something is wrong with a firm on news of intellectual property theft and the company may choose not to pursue their legal options in order to mitigate any worry.

On the flip side, a FBI agent based in Minneapolis says that once companies make the decision to prosecute, the prosecution has a “pretty high success rate.” The largest obstacle law enforcement faces in prosecuting intellectual property crimes is getting the company to cooperate.

Source: Star Tribune, “Fake goods, stolen secrets cost Minnesota businesses billions,” Jim Spencer, Aug. 24, 2011

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.
Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions:
State of Minnesota
Minnesota State Court
Minnesota Federal Court
8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals
State of Maryland”

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Getting falsely accused of domestic violence in Minnesota may put you at risk of losing your job, custody of your children, or even your home. You may face criminal charges and the accusation may damage your reputation in the community, as people will now view you as an abuser. False domestic violence accusations often happen when couples are in a contentious relationship with a risk of divorce.
The top reasons for license suspension in Minnesota include driving under the influence of alcohol, repeated traffic violations, and failure to appear in court or pay fines. Failure to pay child support, criminal convictions and felonies, medical conditions/disabilities, and drag racing can also lead to license suspension. The suspension takes away your driving privileges, preventing you from driving legally.
Motorists arrested for allegedly driving while impaired might wonder, “Can you refuse a breathalyzer?” In Minnesota, the implied consent law requires a person licensed to drive, control, or operate a vehicle to agree to a chemical test to check for alcohol or other intoxicants in that person’s body. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or another chemical test is a crime, often charged as a gross misdemeanor.