Memory and Storage

Toshiba, SK Hynix Settle NAND Flash Theft Dispute

29 December 2014

South Korean memory chip company SK Hynix Inc. has agreed to pay Japan's Toshiba Corp. US$278 million to settle a dispute over the alleged theft of trade secrets related to NAND flash memory technology in 2008.

In return Toshiba has agreed to withdraw a civil lawsuit that it had filed in March 2014 under Japan's Unfair Competition Prevention Act. In that lawsuit it had been seeking 109.15 billion yen (about $1.07 billion).

However, it remains unclear as to whether SanDisk Corp., which has partnered with Toshiba in NAND flash production and which also filed suit against SK Hynix will also drop its suit.

Both companies pursued SK Hynix with the allegation that a former SanDisk employee copied materials and provided them to SK Hynix when he took up employment there.

SanDisk filed its civil lawsuit against 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. SanDisk also submitted a criminal complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department against the former employee.

Related links and articles:

IHS Technology Memory Page

News articles:

Toshiba Claims Billion-Dollar Damages From SK Hynix

Engineer Arrested as Hynix Sued Over NAND Secrets

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