VIA Technologies is going after Asustek Computer and its subsidiary ASMedia Technology. The firms are accused of using VIA's intellectual property while developing USB 3.0 chips. The lawsuit alleges that former VIA executive Chewei Lin left VIA in 2007 and joined ASMedia, taking dozens of VIA employees with him, and also VIA's IP related to USB technology.
Prior to that, ASMedia had no expertise in this field and the Taiwan Prosecutor concluded in criminal case filling that there's strong evidence to justify the criminal prosecution of ASMedia and four ASMedia employees, including R&D VP Chang Chi. The Taiwan Prosecutor noted in the filing that “it is extremely difficult to develop and take such chips into mass production in such a short time frame [of one year].”
VIA seeks compensation of at least NT$4.137 billion (US$138 million).
The lawsuit is being filed to recover the losses incurred as a result of the alleged misappropriation of Via intellectual property related to USB technology. Earlier the Taiwan Prosecutor decided to pursue criminal proceedings against a subsidiary of Asustek Computer and four of that subsidiary’s employees for the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets from Via Technologies. Also named in the suit are Asmedia chairman Jerry Shen, Asmedia president Lin Chewei, and other Asmedia employees involved in the case.
“As a long-time leader in IC design and technology innovation, VIA strongly believes in the importance of protecting intellectual property rights. In addition to protecting interests of VIA and our shareholders, the aim of this suit is to ensure our industry operates in a healthy market environment that fosters innovation and promotes fair competition,” commented Wenchi Chen, CEO of Via Technologies.