DuPont Trade Secrets to China

On Oct. 26, 2010, Hong Meng, a former research chemist for DuPont, was sentenced in the District of Delaware to 14 months in prison and $58,621 in restitution for theft of trade secrets. Meng pleaded guilty on Jun. 8, 2010. Meng was involved in researching Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) during his tenure at DuPont. In early 2009, DuPont’s OLED research efforts resulted in the development of a breakthrough chemical process (trade secret) that increased the performance and longevity of OLED displays. In the Spring of 2009, while still employed at DuPont and without DuPont’s permission or knowledge, Meng accepted employment as a faculty member at Peking University (PKU) College of Engineering, Department of Nanotechnology in Beijing, China, and thereafter began soliciting funding to commercialize his OLED research at PKU. In Jun. 2009, he emailed to his PKU account the protected chemical process from DuPont. He also downloaded the chemical process from his DuPont work computer to a thumb drive which he uploaded to his personal computer. In Aug. 2009, he mailed a package containing 109 samples of DuPont intermediate chemical compounds to a colleague at Northwestern University and instructed his colleague at Northwestern to forward the materials to Meng’s office at PKU. Eight of the 109 samples were trade secret chemical compounds. Meng also made false statements to the FBI when questioned about these samples. This investigation was conducted by the FBI.