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The Language of Fraud Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190270643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190270643.001.0001

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Trade Secrets Fraud and Economic Espionage

Trade Secrets Fraud and Economic Espionage

(p.111) 5 Trade Secrets Fraud and Economic Espionage
The Language of Fraud Cases

Roger W. Shuy

Oxford University Press

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects the intellectual property of industries from theft of trade secrets. In 1995 a government agent publicly advertised his services as a technology information specialist. A Taiwan company responded, expressing interest in joint venture investments, distribution, and marketing. The agent spent months trying to get that company to purchase trade secrets about Taxol from an American pharmaceutical company. Analysis of the language evidence demonstrated that the Taiwanese believed they were in a conventional business transaction speech event rather than the agent’s illegal purchase speech event. These different understandings reflected very different schemas made clear by their very different agendas. The agent’s speech acts were unfulfilled offers and promises, using the conversational strategies of ambiguity, withholding information, and camouflaging his illegality throughout, particularly with the expressions, technology transfer, confidentiality, and by inaccurately restating what the Taiwanese had said.

Keywords:   Trade Secrets Acts, Taxol and Pacilitaxel, conspiracy and wire fraud, predisposition and intentionality, speech event, schemas, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, smoking guns

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