UMC convicted of Micron technology theft

UMC convicted of Micron technology theft
UMC convicted of Micron technology theft

The lawsuit between Micron and UMC, which has been going on for years, has come to an end with a conviction of UMC and employees for high fines and prison sentences. UMC has to pay a fine of 100 million New Taiwan dollars in addition to the accused employees.

Engineers Found Guilty of Stealing Micron Secrets for China

After Micron had in the meantime become a pawn in the trade dispute between the USA and China and certain goods were no longer allowed to be imported into China, the Taiwanese company was right. Three (former) employees of UMC were sentenced to prison terms of 4.5 to 6.5 years and fines of between 4 and 6 million New Taiwan dollars, equivalent to 120,000 to 180,000 euros. The UMC Group has to pay 100 million New Taiwan dollars, around 3 million euros, for participating in the IP theft.

For years, Micron has been fighting against IP theft in Asia, above all against UMC. UMC has close partnerships with Chinese manufacturers who want to gain a foothold in the DRAM business. But from the technological point of view they go back years, without a suitable IP nothing works. Some of these companies are said to have obtained illegally via detours, with UMC employees acting as liaison people. The statements of the prosecution about this matter read like in a crime movie, as Bloomberg reports.

In Clinch since 2017

In 2017 it started, Micron started a lawsuit against UMC - and indirectly also against China, all ahead of the Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. , Ltd (JHICC), Jinhua for short. The emerging DRAM manufacturer in China originally agreed on a technical cooperation with UMC from Taiwan on DRAM technologies. However, at the beginning of December 2017, Micron filed a lawsuit concerning DRAM patents and intellectual property, which JHICC allegedly infringed. At the same time, Micron had sued over 100 former employees on suspicion of secret treason against Chinese companies, the prosecution searched UMC offices in Taiwan, the results of which followed in the current ruling.

However, UMC has not accepted the sentence and wants to appeal, which means that the proceedings have not yet been concluded. In any case, further litigation is also taking place in the USA, which have the same background.

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