© micron Components | November 05, 2018
UMC charged alongside Fujian Jinhua; issues statement
The U.S. Justice Dept. announced on November 1, 2018 that a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted state-owned Fujian Jinhua as well as UMC and three Taiwanese nationals, charging them with conspiracy to steal DRAM technology from Micron.
"The indictment and civil complaint allege that starting in 2015 UMC and others conspired to steal trade secrets of another company, Micron Technology, Inc., and used that information to develop technology that was subsequently transferred to Fujian Jinhua, a Chinese company. The allegations in the indictment and complaint are virtually the same as allegations in a civil complaint previously filed against UMC by Micron. UMC regrets that the U.S. Attorney’s Office brought these charges without first notifying UMC and giving it an opportunity to discuss the matter", a statement reads. The three former Micron employees named in the indictment are former Micron Memory Taiwan chairman Stephen Chen and engineers JT Ho and Kenny Wang. UMC, the release continued, would take seriously any allegation that it may have violated any laws and fully intends to respond to these allegations accordingly. "We appreciate the U.S. Department of Justice's decision to prosecute the criminal theft of our intellectual property," said Joel Poppen, senior vice president, legal affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary at Micron Technology. "Micron has invested billions of dollars over decades to develop its intellectual property. The actions announced today reinforce that criminal misappropriation will be appropriately addressed." In late October 2018, the U.S. Commerce Dept. issued an order banning U.S. companies from supplying Fujian Jinhua, citing national security and suspicion that Fujian’s DRAM technology likely originated at Micron. According to the indictment, the defendants were engaged in "a conspiracy to steal the trade secrets of Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology, Inc. (Micron), a leader in the global semiconductor industry specializing in the advanced research, development and manufacturing of memory products, including dynamic random-access memory (DRAM)." All defendants, the indictment continues, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit economic espionage, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1831(a)(5); one count of conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1832(a)(5); and one count of economic espionage (receiving and possessing stolen trade secrets), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1831(a)(3). Additionally, Wang is charged with two counts of substantive economic espionage and Ho is charged with one count each of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.
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