Memory and Storage

Engineer Arrested as Hynix Sued Over NAND Secrets

14 March 2014

SanDisk Corp. and its manufacturing partner Toshiba Corp. have both filed civil suits alleging that rival NAND flash memory producer SK Hynix Inc. stole trade secrets back in 2008.

San Disk (Milpitas, Calif.) has also submitted a criminal complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department against a former employee alleging he copied materials and provided them to SK Hynix (Icheon, South Korea) when he took up employment with that company. The Tokyo police arrested Yoshitaka Sugita, 52, of Fukuoka Prefecture, an engineer that had formerly worked for SanDisk, on Thursday March 13, according to a Japan Times report.

SanDisk 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 and an injunction against the sale of SK Hynix products. Toshiba (Tokyo, Japan) has brought a civil suit against SK Hynix at the Tokyo District Court, seeking damages for the alleged wrongful acquisition and use of technical information related to NAND flash memory.

SanDisk said the former employee had worked at SanDisk's manufacturing facility in Yokkaichi, Japan, a joint venture and site it shares with Toshiba.

"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," said Judy Bruner, executive vice president, administration, and chief financial officer at SanDisk, in statement.

Toshiba said it plans to construct a better system for protecting intellectual property and preventing its loss, but it will also continue to respond resolutely to unfair competition.

Related links and articles:

Japan Times article:

News articles:

SK Hynix Pushes 16-nm NAND to 128-Gbit

Samsung, SK Hynix Both Claim First LPDDR4 DRAM

Report: Toshiba Eyes Imprint Litho for 15-nm Flash

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