Everlight criminally convicted for misappropriating Seoul Semi trade secrets
LED technology supplier, Seoul Semiconductor, says that the Korean Suwon District Court convicted Everlight Electronics of criminal misappropriation of Seoul’s trade secrets.
Three former employees of Seoul who left the company and went to work at Everlight were also criminally convicted of trade secret misappropriation. Everlight and the former employees are subject to criminal sentences, a press release reads. Everlight was sentenced to the maximum criminal fine permitted under Korean law for commission of such a crime. The Court also sentenced the former employees with criminal probation with the possibility of prison time. According to the press release the criminal investigation began as a result of Everlight’s improper solicitation of a former engineer and sales employee from Seoul. The former employee had special knowledge of Seoul’s automotive LED technology utilising its proprietary WICOP technology – the world’s first package-less LED – in which Seoul invested KRW 560 billion (EUR 399 million) over seven years. The former employee reportedly used a false name while working at Everlight to escape detection. The Korea Prosecutors’ Office criminally indicted Everlight for violating the Industrial Technology Protection Act, as well as the Trade Secret Protection Act. The former employees were charged and arrested with the same violations. “Intellectual property is a ladder that enables small businesses and young entrepreneurs to compete with global conglomerates. It allows people to break through barriers of class and origin with rapid business growth,” says Seoul’s founder, Chung Hoon Lee, in the press release. “Intellectual property enables industrial revolutions. It gives us a tool to fight global poverty, facilitate culture and research activities, grow small businesses into global enterprises, and drive the national economy by creating jobs. We should not allow unethical companies to steal intellectual property for monetary gain,” added Lee.