Thursday, March 13th 2014

Toshiba Sues SK Hynix

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has brought a civil suit against Korea's SK Hynix Inc. at the Tokyo District Court, under Japan's Unfair Competition Prevention Act. The suit seeks damages for the wrongful acquisition and use of Toshiba's proprietary technical information related to NAND flash memory, which Toshiba pioneered in 1987 and now jointly develops and produces with SanDisk Corporation of the U.S.

Toshiba filed the suit on learning that a former employee of SK Hynix has been arrested in Japan for alleged criminal infringement of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act. The employee formerly worked for SanDisk in a NAND flash memory development project conducted in partnership with Toshiba at Yokkaichi Operations, Toshiba's flash memory technology development and mass production base in Mie prefecture, Japan. The employee is alleged to have illegally taken Toshiba's proprietary technical information in 2008, and to have subsequently provided it to SK Hynix.

SK Hynix is a business partner of Toshiba. However, the companies are also competitors in NAND flash memory, one of Toshiba's core technologies, and given the scope and importance of the misappropriated technical data involved, Toshiba has no reasonable option other than to seek legal redress.

Moving forward, Toshiba will construct a more robust system for protecting its intellectual property and preventing its loss, and respond resolutely to unfair competition, in order to maintain the advanced technical competence that is the source of its competitive strength.
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7 Comments on Toshiba Sues SK Hynix

"SK Hynix is a business partner of Toshiba"
wow, in 2008. so competition including spying each other even business partner
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~Technological Technocrat~
you dont know the full story and i doubt you ever will in these kind of cases, Who knows if SK paid the employee off to steal information?

It sounds to me like there was some sort of in house fighting between the two partners and SK had to throw someone underneath a bus to get back into Toshiba's good books before rolling with the punches they are going to pick up from the courts.
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NAND? All this over NAND? Sounds like a bunch of hobalanu over something not all that valuable, NAND?

Posted on Reply
NAND may sound so simple but it's many millions in sales per year. We won't likely ever know all of the details. It's not unusual for some engineers to be bribed to steal and when they get caught they get punished, as they should. SK Hynix will likely pay a high price for industrial espionage.
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Dude, it's a PC / Tech monopoly world. So, there are always war / court cases / spying / technology stealing from individual companies....
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TPU addict
Tell ya whot, i am glad i am not the one busted for it.. Korean prison ermm no thanks.
Posted on Reply
Arjai said:
NAND? All this over NAND? Sounds like a bunch of hobalanu over something not all that valuable, NAND?

:shadedshu: Are you always this dense? Billions of dollars are spent on R&D EVERY YEAR to make NAND on smaller processes, make the interface faster, bring out new controllers, etc. etc. etc. And you claim that NAND is not all that valuable?!? What the hell?!?
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