Taiwan's top court ruled in favor of TSMC in lawsuit against ex-R&D director, who was said to have given away technology secrets and know how to the South Korean giant Samsung Electronics. Taiwan's top court has ruled in favor of TSMC in a trade secret case against Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of R&D at TSMC. Liang has been accused of revealing TSMC's trade secrets and patents related to its advanced process technology to Samsung.
The Supreme Court on August 24 prohibited Liang from working for Samsung in any form until December 31, 2015.
Taiwan's CommonWealth magazine reported that 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 court rulingwas based on an analysis conducted by third-party experts regarding key manufacturing processes of TSMC and Samsung. The characteristics of Samsung's 65nm process are still quite different from TSMC's. However, starting with 45nm to 28nm, the difference between Samsung's and TSMC's technologies narrowed, the report found. "The 16nm and 14nm FinFET products that both companies will mass produce this year were even more alike," the report indicated.
Liang became CTO of Samsung's system LSI division in July 2011, the report said. Later in 2011, TSMC began to sue Liang in a case involving trade secrets.