TSMC takes legal action against former employee for leaking trade secrets

Posted on Thursday, May 04 2017 @ 13:14 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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For the second time in five years, TSMC is prosecuting a former employee for leaking trade secrets to rivals. The ex-employee, which is only identified by his surname, Hsu, reportedly printed out an abnormal volume of documents related to TSMC's 28nm process technology before he planned to join rival foundry Shanghai Huali Microelectronics Co. (HLMC).

Two years ago, TSMC won a lawsuit against Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of R&D who leaked 28nm secrets to Samsung.
The case is the second major incident involving leaks of TSMC intellectual property in the past five years. In 2015, TSMC won a lawsuit against Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of R&D who later became Samsung's System LSI division chief technology officer.

“We are a target because we are a technology leader,” said Elizabeth Sun, senior director of TSMC Corporate Communications, in a phone interview with EE Times.

Both legal cases involve TSMC’s cash cow 28nm technology, a node that the company has dominated for nearly six years. The suspected leak of technology to Samsung may have helped the TSMC rival catch up and surpass TSMC in leading-edge 14-nm FinFET chips that foundry customers such as Qualcomm are making for next-generation mobile devices.

TSMC said it will notify HLMC that any effort to use stolen trade secrets will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
More details can be read EE Times.

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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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