Tuesday, June 16, 2020
UMC has vowed to appeal a Taiwan court ruling against it in a trade secrets theft lawsuit brought by Micron Technology.
A district court in the city of Taichung has ruled in favor of Micron, finding UMC and three of its employees guilty of stealing trade secrets from the US memory chip vendor.
The court ordered UMC to pay a fine of NT$100 million (US$3.37 million), and meted out fines and jail terms for the three individuals - ranging from NT$4 million to NT$6 million, and 4.5 years to 6.5 years.
UMC has insisted that it did not violate Taiwan's Trade Secret Act, and vowed to appeal the verdict.
UMC said the technology involved in the project with Jinhua - a crucial part in the litigation - is based on the foundation of its in-house developed DRAM manufacturing process. UMC said over 300 engineers had spent more than two years developing independently its own DRAM manufacturing process.
Micron said the Taiwanese court and law enforcement authorities had given the case a fair trial, and it will continue to vigorously protect and defend its intellectual property rights worldwide.
The case was brought by Micron's Taiwan unit in August 2017, accusing its former employees of stealing proprietary information and other materials related to DRAM manufacturing technology and giving them to their current employer UMC. The allegedly stolen trade information was meant to be used to help develop DRAM technology for a China-based memory startup.
UMC in 2016 struck a deal with China's state-owned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit to develop jointly DRAM production technologies, but the technology cooperation has been suspended due to the US export sanctions imposed in November 2018. The US Department of Justice issued indictments against Jinhua, UMC and three former employees of Micron's Taiwan unit for conspiracy to steal trade secrets and proprietary technology from Micron.
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