It will be noted many other places, but this is a remarkable basis for alleging criminal theft of trade secrets:
At least at the time of the events in the indictment, Tappy was apparently the envy of other mobile companies, and only T-Mobile employees were allowed to operate Tappy. But eventually the company allowed employees from its phone suppliers to access and operate the robot – so long as they signed nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements. Those agreements specifically barred suppliers’ employees from attempting to reverse engineer Tappy, or to take photos or videos of it.
Meanwhile, Huawei China was reportedly trying to build its own device-testing robot — named, less cutely, “xDeviceRobot” — and it was not finding much success. And Huawei’s devices weren’t faring well on T-Mobile’s Tappy tests, failing more often than devices made by competitors.
In May 2012, Huawei USA asked if Huawei China could license the Tappy technology, and T-Mobile said no.
That’s when Huawei began attempting to steal the design secrets of Tappy, according to the indictment.A Robot Named ‘Tappy’: Huawei Conspired To Steal T-Mobile’s Trade Secrets, Says DOJ
And too good not to quote verbatim:
Then, in May 2013, [Huawei employee] A.X. allegedly made a very bold move, removing Tappy’s arm and putting it in his laptop bag. T-Mobile employees confronted him about the missing arm. He denied having it, and that night he and F.W. measured and photographed the arm. The next day, A.X. said he had “found” Tappy’s arm in his bag. It was then that T-Mobile finally revoked A.X.’s credential to the lab.Id.
I dunno. Criminal masterminds? Or just a culture of stealing? I guess either way you get indicted.