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The arrest and conviction of an AMSC employee in an Austrian court would be the opening round of a two-year fight by the Devens-based technology firm to defend its intellectual property rights — even as it lost millions of dollars and laid off hundreds of workers as the result of alleged theft of proprietary software theft by a Chinese wind turbine maker. It would also open a window on the sometimes tawdry world of economic espionage.
The saga — pieced together with court records, financial filings, and interviews — took investigators from a wind farm in China to corporate offices in Austria and Middleton, Wis., and ultimately back to Massachusetts. Here, less than 40 miles from AMSC headquarters, FBI agents found a key piece of evidence.