TAMPA, FL – September 12, 2019 – Cole Y. Carlson, intellectual property attorney in GrayRobinson’s Tampa law firm office, is featured in the Forbes article “Next Up in China Trade War: Biotech Purge?” in which he provides insight surrounding U.S. government reports in 2019 that Chinese scientists are stealing American biotech patents.
Last April 2018, Weiqiang Zhang, a Chinese national and a U.S. legal permanent resident residing in Manhattan, Kansas was sentenced by a U.S. District Court on one count of conspiracy to steal trade secrets in genetically modified rice. He had been working with a group from a Chinese crop institute looking to produce something similar.
“I have also heard of cases where Chinese scientists working in the U.S. have set up ‘dark labs’ overseas, performing research in both places simultaneously, while also being the beneficiaries of National Institutes of Health grants. I am not sure if any of these scientists have ever been accused or convicted of spying, though,” states Carlson.
Biotechnologies, especially gene-editing techniques, are evolving at a rapid pace in China. Companies there are catching up with the U.S. mostly in the area of medical treatments. China is second to the United States in the number of genome-related patents owned. This is akin to gene-editing DNA that can be used in cancer treatments, among other things.
“The heavily publicized thefts have hurt the relationships American companies might make abroad and cause cold feet or ultimately discourage Chinese scientists from coming here.”
Read the full article here.