Engineers Found Guilty Of Stealing
Goodyear Trade Secrets
December 13, 2010 - A federal jury convicted Clark Alan
Roberts, 47, and Sean Edward Howley, 39, both former
engineers with Wyko Tire Technology Incorporated,
located in Greenback, Tenn., of stealing trade secrets
from the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Assistant
Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal
Division and U.S. Attorney William C. Killian for the
Eastern District of Tennessee announced.
After a one-week trial, the jury found Roberts and Howley guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, one count of trade secret theft, one count of unlawful photographing of trade secrets, three counts of transmittal of trade secrets, one count of possession of trade secrets, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
create an effective design on their own, these engineers stole
trade secrets from a competitor in order to fulfill a contract,?
said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. ?We will not allow the
hard work and resources businesses put into product development
to be compromised by individuals who unlawfully obtain protected
ruling in this case will send a message that complicated trade
secret violations will be aggressively investigated and
prosecuted by U.S. Attorney?s Offices and the Department,? said
U.S. Attorney Killian.
to the evidence presented in court, Wyko secured a $1.2 million
contract in early 2007 with the Haohua South China Guilin Rubber
Company Limited (HHSC), a Chinese tire manufacturing company
located in Guilin, Peoples Republic of China, to supply tire
building equipment for use in producing radial ?off the road?
(OTR) tires, which are used on very large earth moving and
mining equipment. Wyko was in the business of making tire
building equipment for Goodyear and other tire manufacturers.
One of the pieces of equipment that Wyko agreed to sell to HHSC was called a swab down device, which is used during the manufacture of a giant OTR tire. However, Wyko had never built a swab down device before and was having difficulty in the spring of 2007 completing their design of the swab down device.
On May 30
and 31, 2007, Roberts and Howley, traveled to a Goodyear tire
manufacturing facility located in Topeka, Kan., to service Wyko
equipment located in the Goodyear plant with the intention of
taking photographs of Goodyear?s swab down device to assist them
with completing their design even though they knew Goodyear
protected the swab down device as a trade secret.
On May 31, 2007,
the defendants used a cell phone camera to surreptitiously take seven
unauthorized photographs of a Goodyear swab down device, without the
knowledge or permission of Goodyear. The defendants then e-mailed the
unauthorized photographs to employees at a Wyko subsidiary located in
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