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Jury Finds Against Intersil in Trade Secret Theft Case

10 March 2015

A federal jury in Texas has ruled in favor of Texas Advanced Optoelectronics Solutions Inc. (TAOS) over Intersil Corp. in a suit alleging trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and patent infringement.

The jurors found that Intersil used TAOS' patented technology for dual-diode ambient light sensors without its consent, according to a law firm representing TAOS. The firm also said the jury found that Intersil misappropriated trade secrets in order to obtain a competitive advantage. The verdict awards $48.7 million in damages to TAOS along with an additional $10 million in punitive damages.

Intersil (Milpitas, Calif.) said it would seek to overturn the verdict through post-trial motions and appeals.

According to trial testimony in the case, argued in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Intersil sought to purchase TAOS in 2004 as a way to enter the light-sensor market. During the talks between the companies, TAOS officials shared details about the technology and competitive trade secrets including vendor information and pricing details. After talks, TAOS said, Intersil did not make a reasonable offer to acquire TAOS and the companies parted ways.

"Intersil had the opportunity and ability to buy TAOS but instead chose to embark on a course of conduct that involved lying, cheating and stealing," said the company's lead trial attorney, Jamil Alibhai, in closing arguments during the trial.

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