Trade Secrets Theft: Former Samsung Executive’s Failed Attempt to Duplicate Chip Factory in China


Last month (June 2023) a former Samsung Electronics executive and six others were arrested and indicted for theft of trade secrets and bringing the secrets to China to set up a competing factory.  He had worked 18 years at Samsung and 10 years at SK Hynix.

The executive took detailed plans, blueprints, and clean room layouts from S. Korea to duplicate a Samsung chip factory in China.  Fortunately for Samsung, he encountered funding challenges, and could not complete the facility.  He even hired 200 employees away from Samsung and Hynix to work at the new factory.

Factory blueprints are extremely valuable, but cannot be easily protected by patents (or likely not at all).  Trade secrets are the best way to protect this type of asset.

Remember, there are many more trade secrets in your organization than you realize, and not just in technology R&D.

Further Reading:

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