Sunnyvale, California–United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) of Taiwan filed a December 4 lawsuit against Taiwan-based Silicon Integrated Systems (SIS) in Federal Court in San Jose, California, claiming that SIS entered the chipmaking business by engaging in a systematic pattern of abuse of its intellectual property (IP) rights including patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidentiality agreements, and unfair competition.
“UMC intends to protect to the fullest extent of the law the IP that we have spent hundreds of millions of US dollars and countless hours of engineering and manufacturing effort over the past 20 years to develop,” says John Hsuan, UMC chairman. “We believe that IP is the cornerstone of our success, and know that technological prowess comes only as a result of substantial and independent effort. We cannot sit still while other companies take our people and abuse our proprietary information to launch into the business without making the investments and engineering work required to secure advanced technology legitimately. We do not believe modern industry will tolerate those who seek shortcuts to success through the misuse of IP belonging to others.”
SIS responded, saying that the company was “astounded” by the allegations of UMC’s lawsuit. The company launched an internal investigation of the claims but, based on its initial study, has not found any merit to the claims. SIS insists that its achievements are the result of hard work and devotion through the years, and that the company places heavy emphasis on IP rights and has long respected the IP rights of others.