SanDisk Corporation today announced that it has filed a civil lawsuit against Korea’s SK Hynix, Inc., SK Hynix America and related entities in Santa Clara Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks damages, an injunction and other remedies against Hynix for trade secret misappropriation under California’s Uniform Trade Secret Act.
Additionally, SanDisk has submitted a criminal complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department against a former employee.
These actions relate to the theft of trade secrets related to NAND flash technology by a former engineer of SanDisk who left the company in 2008 to work for SK Hynix. This engineer is alleged to have illegally taken SanDisk’s proprietary technical information and to have subsequently provided it to SK Hynix.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police today announced the arrest of the former employee, who worked at SanDisk’s joint venture manufacturing facility in Yokkaichi, Japan. SanDisk has been and continues to cooperate with law enforcement in their investigation.
SanDisk’s joint venture relationship with Toshiba Corporation has been in place for nearly 15 years and represents one of the most successful partnerships in the semiconductor industry. SanDisk and Toshiba together have enabled more than 10 generations of NAND flash technologies over these years.
“SanDisk strongly believes in the value of IP, and takes protecting trade secrets seriously,” said Judy Bruner, executive vice president, administration, and chief financial officer at SanDisk. “We are working diligently with the authorities as well as our partner on these matters and are aggressively pursuing all legal remedies available to us.”
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