We assisted Nokian Tyres in the biggest trade secret trial in Finland

By Tom Vapaavuori

07-2019

On 19 June 2019, The Turku Court of Appeal has passed sentences on nine former Nokian Tyres employees that had moved to work for Black Donuts Engineering.

The sentences were given for infringement and misappropriation of Nokian Tyres' trade secrets. Earlier in the matter, two people have received judgments. The Court of Appeal imposed punishments on all the defendants. Altogether eight of the defendants have been sentenced to imprisonments. Black Donuts Engineering Oy was ordered to pay corporate fines and return the proceeds of crime to the Finnish state.

The convicted people resigned from Nokian Tyres in 2010-2011, excluding one already convicted employee that worked for a subcontractor. These people took recordings containing tens of thousands of Nokian Tyres' trade secrets that concerned, among other things, factory technology and product development information, and used them to advance a competing business. The trial in question was the biggest trade secret trial ever in Finland.

Our office's dispute resolution attorneys, Partner Tom Vapaavuori and Councel Jarno Sulasalmi have assisted Nokian Tyres in this case since 2011. Furthermore, Essi Jolma and Amanda Olsson have also participated in the handling of the case. The judgement strengthens Bird & Bird's position as the leading Finnish law firm in handling dispute resolution cases, especially regarding white-collar crimes and trade secrets. In addition, our Helsinki based Partner Tom Vapaavuori's book Trade Secrets and Non Disclosure Agreements, a comprehensive work about trade secrets, was published in May 2019.