In a pending trial in federal court in Boston in the case U.S. v. Haoyang Yu, et al.
, prosecutors accuse
a design engineer and naturalized citizen from China of stealing microchips (monolithic microwave integrated circuits or “MMICs” used in radio, cellular and satellite communications) from his former employer Analog Devices, Inc. As reported in Law360
, during opening statements last week, a federal prosecutor told the jury, “It’s a story of fraud. It’s a story of possession of stolen trade secrets. It’s a story of illegal exports and immigration fraud.” In support of its case, the government explained that Yu tried to cover his tracks by changing the file extensions of the stolen files to “.jpg,” making them appear as if they were standard photo files, and then renaming the files after Pokémon characters, including Pikachu. Yu’s attorney vehemently denied the charges on behalf of his client, arguing, among other things, that “It’s perfectly legal to copy MMICs,” and that Yu has been unfairly targeted as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s now-defunct “China Initiative.” We are continuing to follow this case and will report further on any interesting developments.