Samsung not involved in ASML’s trade secret theft

Samsung not involved in ASML’s trade secret theft


South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung, on Wednesday, denied of being involved in an incident of intellectual property theft from supplier ASML.

The issue highlighted after an April 10 statement from the Dutch ASML unveiled of becoming victim of corporate espionage in 2015 involving former employees from countries including China.

ASML said the perpetrators used memory sticks to copy large files from its Silicon Valley software subsidiary that develops machine optimization, and took those secrets to Xtal Inc, a U.S. software maker, which has recently been going through bankruptcy process, filed in December after losing a judgment to ASML for the same issue with Xtal to pay a settlement amount of $223 million.

ASML is the largest supplier in the world of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry being used to fabricate the integrated circuitry on semiconductor chips and its major clients includes Intel of the United States, Taiwanese TSMC and South Korean Samsung.

After uncovering of the story, media was in view of the theft took place on behalf of the China and is an act of economic espionage, chief executive of the Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML, Peter Wennink, in last week, denied initial reports of Chinese government being at the back of those theft saying the suggestions that ASML was somehow victim of a national conspiracy is wrong.

On last Tuesday, Wennick, in a TV interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS, not only added that funding for Xtal came partially from China and partially from Korea, but also reiterated alleged Korean connections saying that the ASML found evidences that people of Chinese and American nationality with Chinese background were involved in trade secrets theft.

The stolen data was related to the products, that the company used to provide services to its largest Korean customer, he added.

Samsung, which is largest South Korean customer and overall largest customer of ASML, denied and showed disappointment on news and even on suggestions that the company is involved in any wrongdoing against ASML.

On last Wednesday, ASML denied any involvement of Samsung or direct involvement of Chinese government in the theft.

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