iPad 2 Design Thieves Sentenced To Chinese Prison

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This is one of the many third-party cases that was built based upon leaked iPad 2 designs.
This is one of the many third-party cases that was built based upon leaked iPad 2 designs.

Remember the three Foxconn employees arrested back in December for leaking the design of the iPad 2 to third-party case makers? They’ve been found guilty, and they’re going to prison.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

It said that Xiao Chengsong, general manager of Shenzhen MacTop Electronics Co., had offered 20,000 yuan, or about $3,000, plus discounts on MacTop products to a former Hon Hai employee named Hou Pengna, for information about the iPad 2. The court said Ms. Hou then paid Lin Kecheng, a Hon Hai research-and-development employee, to get digital images of the device’s back cover from last September, six months before the iPad 2 was publicly announced.

This being China, the penalties are stiff: each individual found guilty will serve sentences up to 18 months and pay between $4,500 and $23,000 in fines.

Given how inhumanely China can treat its prisoners, it’s personally pretty hard for me to get on board people actually going to prison over leaking the shape of the iPad 2 a couple months early, but I suppose Apple and Foxconn have to vigorously protect their intellectual assets. What do you think?