Tuesday, November 03, 2009

TSMC v. SMIC: When Chip Foundries Go to the Dark Side

Chinese chip foundry SMIC, who paid $175M a few years ago to settle a claim of trade secret theft from its Taiwanese rival TSMC still couldn't keep its hands out of the cookie jar and is now looking at over $1B in damages for continuing to steal its trade secrets.

SMIC evidently hung its hat on trying to prove that the technology it stole wasn't really a trade secret. For 63 out of the 65 claimed trade secrets, the jury didn't buy it.

More to come on how damages will be calculated in this case -- the jury will consider this phase of the case starting Thursday -- but the usual method is to look at how the defendant was unjustly enriched.

Big win for Keker. Big big loss for Wilson, Sonsini (for those of you keeping score on the law firm side), who really needs to find better clients.

More to come as we get more information.

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