Taiwan’s UMC faces TWD100 million fine in trade secret theft case brought by Micron
E200613Y4 | Jul. 2020（E248）
U.S.-based memory chipmaker, Micron Technology Inc. (hereinafter “Micron”) filed a lawsuit against the Taiwan-based contract chipmaker, United Microelectronics Corporation (hereinafter “UMC”) in Taiwan in 2017, accusing UMC of conspiring with the Chinese state-owned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Jinhua”) to steal trade secrets of the DRAM process technology from Micron. Taiwan Taichung District Court has heard this case and found defendants guilty of violating Trade Secrets Act, passing the following sentences on UMC and its three former employees: Rong was sentenced to imprisonment for six years and six months and in addition thereto, a fine of TWD6 million, while Ho should receive his jail sentence of five years and six months with a fine of TWD5 million and Wang was given a jail term of four years and six months with a fine of TWD4 million; also, UMC was imposed with a fine of TWD100 million.
Micron said that it is grateful to the Taiwan Taichung District Court for rendering a guilty judgment on UMC and the three employees for their major crimes of violating the Trade Secrets Act and also to the Taiwanese court and the law enforcement authorities for their fair and pertinent handling of the criminal trade secret misappropriation case.
In response to the court decision, UMC stated that it will appeal the guilty judgment and the heavy penalty and also pointed out many disputable issues and flaws in the investigation process and hearing procedure in violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure. UMC also stressed that it did not violate the Trade Secrets Act because the DRAM process technology involved in the lawsuit was developed by UMC’s 300 engineers for more than two years based on UMC’s own technology, and UMC has also kept relevant R&D records as evidence. (Released 2020.06.13)