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BP Chemicals Ltd. v. Jiangsu Sopo Corp.

429 F. Supp. 2d 1179 (2006)

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BP Chemicals Ltd. v. Jiangsu Sopo Corp.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

429 F. Supp. 2d 1179 (2006)

Facts

BP Chemicals Ltd. (BP) (plaintiff) was a UK company that designed and constructed facilities to manufacture acetic acid through a process known as methanol carbonylation. BP licensed the right to use its methanol carbonylation process to other plants in different countries and took steps to maintain the proprietary nature of its technology. Jiangsu Sopo Corporation (Sopo) (defendant) was a Chinese state-owned company that owned an acetic-acid plant in China. BP alleged that Sopo had illegally obtained access to BP’s acetic-acid technology. BP also alleged that Sopo had copied the specifications from BP’s licensed acetic-acid plants in Asia in order to build Sopo’s own plant in China. Further, BP claimed that Sopo had disclosed the illegally obtained trade secrets to companies in the US that, in turn, provided Sopo with items for Sopo to use in Sopo’s acetic-acid plant. BP sued Sopo in US federal court for misappropriation of trade secrets under the Lanham Act and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (the Paris Convention). Sopo moved for a judgment on the pleadings.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Perry, J.)

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