ANSAN, South Korea – Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (“Seoul”) (KOSDAQ 046890), a leading global innovator of LED products and technology, announced that the Korean Suwon District Court convicted Everlight Electronics (“Everlight”) of criminal misappropriation of Seoul’s trade secrets. Three former employees of Seoul who left the company and went to work at Everlight were also criminally convicted of trade secret misappropriation. Everlight and the former employees are subject to criminal sentences.
Everlight was sentenced to the maximum criminal fine permitted under Korean law for commission of such a crime. The Court also sentenced the former employees with criminal probation with the possibility of prison time.
The criminal investigation began as a result of Everlight’s improper solicitation of a former engineer and sales employee from Seoul. The former employee had special knowledge of Seoul’s automotive LED technology utilizing its proprietary WICOP technology – the world’s first package-less LED – in which Seoul invested five hundred and sixty (560) billion KRW over seven (7) years. The former employee used a false name while working at Everlight to escape detection. The Korea Prosecutors’ Office criminally indicted Everlight for violating the Industrial Technology Protection Act, as well as the Trade Secret Protection Act. The former employees were charged and arrested with the same violations.
Seoul is a global LED manufacturer that has achieved USD 1 billion of annual revenue in LED sales. Seoul invests about 10% of its revenue into R&D every year and holds more than 14,000 global patent rights as a leading company of the second generation LED technology.
“Intellectual property is a ladder that enables small businesses and young entrepreneurs to compete with global conglomerates. It allows people to break through barriers of class and origin with rapid business growth,” says Seoul’s founder, Chung Hoon Lee.
“Intellectual property enables industrial revolutions. It gives us a tool to fight global poverty, facilite culture and research activities, grow small businesses into global enterprises, and drive the national economy by creating jobs. We should not allow unethical companies to steal intellectual property for monetary gain,” added Lee.
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About Seoul Semiconductor
Seoul Semiconductor is the world’s second-largest global LED manufacturer, a ranking excluding the captive market, and has more than 14,000 patents. Based on a differentiated product portfolio, Seoul offers a wide range of technologies, and mass produces innovative LED products for indoor and outdoor lighting, automotive, IT products, such as mobile phone, computer displays, and other applications, as well as the UV area. The company’s world’s first development and mass production products are becoming LED industry standard and leading the global market with a package-free LED, WICOP; a high-voltage AC-driven LED, Acrich; an LED with 10X the output of a conventional LED, nPola; a cutting edge ultraviolet clean technology LED, Violeds; an all direction light emitting technology, filament LED; a natural spectrum LED, SunLike; and more. For more information, please visit www.seoulsemicon.com/en.
Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd.