Why is the FBI investigating the Liebherr Mining lawsuit?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is requesting documents from a 2013 lawsuit involving Liebherr Mining that accuses several former workers of trade secret theft, according to the Daily Press.
The lawsuit, which is in the process of being dropped, claims six former employees at its Newport News production plants stole thousands of design documents and then sold the information to copycat manufacturers in China. An engineering firm in Detroit is also listed in the lawsuit, claiming it assisted Chinese companies with designs and Chinese manufacturing partnerships that imitated Liebherr’s 400 ton diesel truck.
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The FBI’s Detroit office filed a request with the Newport News Circuit Court on May 13 asking the clerk’s office for 32 documents from the lawsuit. The collected documents include initial complaints and two amended complaints; 12 answers to those complaints by the defendants; some email documents; and 15 exhibits.
"I don't have a comment," said David Porter, press spokesman with the FBI’s Detroit office. "No one should presume that (the lack of comment) means one thing or another. That's always our answer when we're asked if we can confirm an investigation regarding A, B and C."
Spokeswoman for the FBI's Norfolk office, Christina Pullen, would also not comment why the Detroit office asked for the case filings. "I cannot respond to what Detroit is doing," said Pullen. "I can't respond to anything on any potential or pending investigations. That's just our standard."
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Although it’s unclear why the FBI would get involved, the agency has recently made it a national priority to go after economic espionage in which foreign entities steal American business trade secrets.
Last month, Liebherr’s attorney Brett A. Spain with the Norfolk office of the Willcox & Savage law firm told the Newport News Circuit Court judge Timothy Fisher the company plans to ‘nonsuit’ the case against most defendants. Under the legal mechanism of a nonsuit, Liebherr will have six months to refile the lawsuit against the remaining defendants. If the case is not refilled within the allotted six months, it will be dismissed.
(Source: Daily Press)
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.