TSMC wins Spy Case against a Former Employee who gave Secrets to Samsung that helped Win Apple's Chip Business
In February we posted a detailed report titled "TSMC Sues Former Employee for Giving Samsung Trade Secrets." The report was about TSMC suing a former employee by the name of Liang Mong-song for giving away their crown jewels to Samsung. With TSMC and Samsung fighting it out for Apple's business every year, this story was an interesting one being that Samsung came out the winner with Apple, of all companies, rewarding Samsung unknowingly.
Dick Thurston, former chief counsel for TSMC stated that "We brought the lawsuit because TSMC Chairman Morris Chang and senior management were convinced we needed to send a message to Samsung, employees and other competitors.
Today, Taiwan's highest court ruled in favor of TSMC. Yet the punishment dished out for this crime was so pathetic that it tells those involved in corporate espionage that the law has no teeth. It's as bad as the patent system that allows patent infringers like Samsung to reap billions in profits and maybe payout 5% of their profits to companies like Apple years after the crime. It's a joke.
So what was the message sent to Samsung by the court? According to a new report published this morning, "The Supreme Court on August 24 maintained the determination made by the second-instance court, prohibiting Liang from working for Samsung in any form until December 31, 2015."
Ha! – A lousy four month ban from working at Samsung is the big scary punishment for giving Samsung the ability to lock down Apple's chip business. And all the while, the employee has been training Samsung engineers all about TSMC's trade secrets "at a Samsung-sponsored university in South Korea." The only students that Liang taught at the university were "in fact veteran Samsung employees," the report disclosed.
According to a report published by Taiwan's CommonWealth magazine, "Liang played a key role in allowing Samsung to beat TSMC in the 14/16nm race, At TSMC's quarterly investors conference in January, TSMC chairman Morris Chang admitted that his company would lose out to Samsung in the FinFET segment in 2015."
The crazy thing about this is that with Apple wanting to stay ahead of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones went ahead with the new chips from Samsung that needed TSMC's technology to make it all possible. Now, how screwed up is that?
In the end, Business is business and Samsung is laughing all the way to the bank. Did someone say that crime doesn't pay? Ha, what world do you live in?