In a trial in which the operating company of the conveyor belt sushi chain ``Kappa Sushi'' was charged with violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Act for illegally using data that was a trade secret of rival chain ``Hama Sushi'', the Tokyo District Court The company was sentenced to a 30 million yen fine for ``obstructing fair competition and failing to compensate Hamazushi.''

Kappa Create, the operating company of Kappa Sushi, and defendant Hideaki Otomo (44), who was the product manager of the product division, have stolen purchasing data taken from the parent company of rival chain Hama Sushi by former president Kimi Tanabe. The company was charged with violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Act for sharing the data internally and using it to compare with its own data.

In previous trials, the company and its former manager had both maintained their innocence, stating, ``The data did not constitute a trade secret, and there was no purpose to gain illegal profits.''

In the ruling on the 26th, Tokyo District Court Presiding Judge Jun Shimado said, ``The data constitutes a trade secret and was the result of Hama Sushi's efforts to develop and negotiate business partners. ``The data was used for a fraudulent purpose.''

In addition, Kappa Create was fined 30 million yen, and former manager Otomo was fined 30 million yen, saying, ``They have obstructed fair competition and have not compensated Hamazushi. Considering the scale of the company's business, criminal liability cannot be overlooked.'' They were sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison, suspended for 4 years, and fined 1 million yen.

In this case, former president Tanabe, who stole the data, was sentenced to three years in prison, four years' suspension, and a fine of 2 million yen.