WASHINGTON (June 25, 2012)—The U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to start an investigation as to whether certain synthetic rubber tackifier resin producers are violating the trade secrets of SI Group Inc.
SI Group, a Schenectady, N.Y.-based manufacturer of chemical intermediates, filed a complaint with the ITC in May.
According to the complaint, Sino Legend (Zhangjiagang) Chemical Co. Ltd. hired away the plant manager of SI Group's Shanghai facility in 2007. In February 2010, SI Group sued Sino Legend in Shanghai, claiming that Sino Legend had stolen SI Group's trade secrets in manufacturing rubber tackifiers and was using them to make resins in competition with SI Group.
A technology verification center in Shanghai, authorized by the Chinese judiciary and hired by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, verified both the confidentiality of SI Group's manufacturing processes and the similarities between then and Sino Legend's processes, SI Group said.
In addition to Sino Legend, SI Group named RedAvenue Chemical Corp. of America, based in Rochester, N.Y., in its complaint, as well as several other companies and individuals associated with Sino Legend and RedAvenue. SI Group said it filed the complaint in reaction not only to Sino Legend's imports of tackifier resins to the U.S., but also statements by Sino Legend and RedAvenue that they plan to increase those imports during 2012.
SI Group seeks an order excluding the Sino Legend resins from the U.S. and a cease-and-desist order against Sino Legend to get them to stop their alleged use of manufacturing processes stolen from SI Group.
The ITC voted June 20 to institute the investigation. By early August, it will set a preliminary date to complete it. Initially, the agency will assign the case to one of its six administrative law judges, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.