UMC found guilty of stealing Micron DRAM secrets

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

UMC has been ordered to pay a fine of NT$100 million (about US$3.37 million). The foundry has reportedly said it will appeal the ruling.

The case was brought by Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho) and refers to events when back in 2015 through 2017 when UMC was working with Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. Ltd. to develop and introduce DRAM components to the market (see UMC sues Micron in China).

UMC suspended the project with Jinhua (see Report: UMC backs away from China DRAM venture) but also successfully sued Micron in China of patent infringement (see Micron hit with Chinese DRAM ban).

Now the Taichung court has ruled that two engineers who previously worked for Micron Taiwan, before joining UMC in November 2015 and March 2016, provided Micron business information that they held at the request of a third UMC engineer.

The three have been given jail sentences of between six years and six months, five years and six months and four years and six months and fined NT$6 million, NT$5 million and NT$4 million, respectively.

UMC has consistently denied its guilt and said that the DRAM technology involved in the project with Jinhua was developed internally at UMC and based on one of its own processes.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Report: UMC backs away from China DRAM venture

UMC claims its DRAM is different to Micron’s

US ban set to thwart Chinese DRAM entry

Micron hit with Chinese DRAM ban

UMC sues Micron in China


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