Memory and Storage

Toshiba Claims Billion-Dollar Damages From SK Hynix

22 July 2014

Japan's Toshiba Corp. is seeking 109.15 billion yen (about $1.07 billion) in damages from rival South Korean memory chip company SK Hynix Inc. in a lawsuit over the alleged theft of NAND flash technology trade secrets.

SK Hynix (Icheon, South Korea) disclosed the amount in a regulatory filing, according to a Reuters report. The lawsuit was filed in Japan in March (see Engineer Arrested as Hynix Sued Over NAND Secrets). As part of its suit Toshiba is asking to have SK Hynix compelled to destroy all information about the technology and stop production and sales of NAND memory products that use the technology, the reports said referencing the regulatory filing. SK Hynix said it would seek to have the suit dismissed.

SK Hynix may also be hit with a damages claim by SanDisk Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.), which partners with Toshiba in the production of NAND flash memory.

In March SanDisk and Toshiba both filed civil suits alleging that SK Hynix Inc. had stolen trade secrets back in 2008. SanDisk 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 when he took up employment with that company. The former employee was reported to be Yoshitaka Sugita, 52, of Fukuoka Prefecture, an engineer that had formerly worked for SanDisk.

According to most rankings Samsung leads the NAND flash market followed by Toshiba working together with SanDisk. Micron and SK Hynix hold third and fourth spots.

Related links and articles:

Reuters report

IHS Technology Memory Page

News reports

Engineer Arrested as Hynix Sued Over NAND Secrets

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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