Chinese courts will give heavier punishments, including increased fines, to those who violate intellectual property rights, the top court said on Tuesday.
In 2012, two companies were fined about 37 million yuan ($6 million) for the acts of four employees who allegedly stole business secrets from their opponents.
The fine is so far the highest given by the courts for a trade secret theft case, according to the Supreme People's Court.
The four employees were also sentenced from two to six years in prison, the court said.
Sun Jungong, spokesman of the court, said that such a large fine is a strong warning against intellectual property rights crime because the potential economic losses from committing the crime would outweigh the gains.
Last year, Chinese courts tackled 12,794 intellectual property rights cases and gave punishments to 15,518 people, the statement said.
Both the two figures peaked in the past five years, the court added.
(Source: China Daily)