In 2017, Lee and Li represented Haldor Topsoe A/S ("HTAS"), a global leading company in the catalysts industry founded in Denmark in 1940, in initiating a criminal action against Clean Air Technology Limited, its responsible persons, et al., for their suspected misappropriation of HTAS's trade secrets. The criminal complaint was filed with the Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice, which conducted simultaneous raid actions in different cities in Taiwan and successfully seized relevant evidence in August of 2017. The results of the raid actions led to indictment by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office in July of 2018. The case is now pending trial at the Kaohsiung District Court.
For decades, HTAS has devoted resources to R&D in the formula and production of catalysts and design of process plants based on catalytic processes. The defendants, in the name of technology transfer, unlawfully obtained, used and disclosed HTAS's trade secret for its impregnation formula, thus violating the Trade Secrets Act in Taiwan. Should the defendants be convicted, they will be sentenced to a maximum of five years imprisonment and possible fine.
This is the first case following the amendment to add criminal liabilities to the Taiwan Trade Secrets Act in 2013 where criminal relief for trade secret misappropriation was provided to an EU enterprise. It is also a landmark case in Taiwan for protection of intellectual property for a Danish company.