TSMC Accuses SMIC Of Trade Secrets Theft

By TechSecurityChina.com Editor
March 24, 2004

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), currently the world’s largest contract chip maker, claims that Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), its China-based rival, stole its trade secrets by hiring away employees and urging them to bring “presents” of proprietary information when coming to work at their new jobs, according an ongoing lawsuit.

The lawsuit, originally filed in San Francisco federal court in December, alleges SMIC improperly obtained trade secrets and infringed U.S. patents. On Monday, it disclosed new evidence in response to SMIC’s efforts to have the lawsuit dismissed. TSMC claims as much as 90% of one of its process flows had been copied by SMIC. This week’s filing also said SMIC’s use of stolen secrets was verified through a forensic examination of its chips.

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