Nokia, Finland – A Finnish court of appeals has reduced fines and sentences against former Nokian Tyres employees working for Black Donuts Engineering (BDE), while upholding the original convictions, according to statements from both companies.
Ten former Nokian employees, six of which currently working with tire technology service company Black Donuts Engineering Oy, were convicted of ‘violating and abusing Nokian’s secrets’, in a Finnish court ruling in August 2017.
The Pirkanmaa court sentenced eight individuals to conditional imprisonment of 6-18 months, handed down fines totalling €837,500 to BDE and ordered it to pay over €600,000 in legal expenses to Nokian.
This original court verdict was upheld this week: Nokian reporting that the Turku Appeal Court had on 19 June sentenced eight of the ten defendants to prison terms.
Two other defendants had previously received non-appealable sentences in the case and BDE was also fined, noted the tire maker – without giving further details.
In its statement on the appeal court ruling, however, BDE said that corporate fines had been “substantially reduced” and that punishments and fines for its “team members” had been reduced “in every case.”
Again, BDE did not give more details but said the appeal court verdict would have no significant impact on its financial position as it had previously paid most of the fines.
Pointing out that the legal case had been running since 2011, Hille Korhonen, president and CEO for Nokian Tyres said “we are happy that a decision has been reached and all defendants have been convicted.”
Similarly, BDE stated: “For us, the most important thing, however, is to finally have an end to this long case which will allow us to accelerate the growth of our core business.”
The case has been “an unwanted distraction” for investors and stakeholders, who needed “an additional and exceptional level of re-assurances,” added the tire technology service firm.