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United States v. Shi

We can’t always get what we want, but, sometimes, we get what we need. Appellant Shan Shi obtained seven documents containing trade secret information his company needed to produce drill riser buoyancy modules, the high-tech equivalent of water wings for the miles of steel pipe that extend from drill ships to the ocean floor and carry oil from natural deposits tens of thousands of feet below the surface. Unfortunately, that information was not publicly available; it came from a competitor. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, United States v. Vega, 826 F.3d 514, 522 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (citation omitted), we hold that the jury had sufficient evidence to find that Shi joined an agreement to acquire and use trade secret information, and sufficient evidence to find that Shi believed the documents he received contained trade secrets. We therefore affirm his conviction.

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