March 8, 2002 – Hsinchu, Taiwan – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is suing a former worker who allegedly leaked trade secrets.
The company secrets did not include information about TSMC’s cutting-edge chip technology, said a company spokeswoman, who didn’t give her name. She declined to comment on the nature of the data or on how damaging the loss has been for the chipmaker, reported the Associated Press.
The official wouldn’t discuss the identity of the employee or the recipient of the information, saying only it had not been disclosed to a customer.
“TSMC has filed a lawsuit because a (former) employee has violated our proprietary information protection policy,” she said.
Taiwan’s major dailies, citing unidentified sources, reported that a TSMC employee e-mailed sensitive company information last year to Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., a rival chipmaker.
The report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News said the information was related to advanced 300mm wafer manufacturing plants.
TSMC said the incident happened last year and that the company filed the lawsuit against its former employee in January.