Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (KOSDAQ 046890), a global innovator of LED products and technology, announced that the Korean Suwon District Court Appellate Division found Everlight Electronics (“Everlight”) guilty of criminal misappropriation of Seoul Semiconductor’s trade secrets and industry technology.
The court awarded criminal fines against Everlight – the maximum fine for a foreign company for the commission of such a crime so far. Three former employees of Seoul Semiconductor (“Seoul”) who left the company and went to work at Everlight were also sentenced to one to two years in prison with two to three years of probation for trade secret and technology misappropriation.
The Korea Prosecutors’ Office criminally indicted Everlight together with Seoul’s former employees for criminal misappropriation of Seoul’s trade secrets and industry technology. The lower court convicted Everlight on a charge of criminal misappropriation of trade secrets, and the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision and also upheld a charge of criminal misappropriation of Seoul’s industry technology by Everlight.
Seoul is the top LED company in Korea and No. 3 in the world. Over the past 30 years, Seoul has devoted itself to R&D with a vast patent portfolio and is leading second generation LED technology. However, some global companies still purchase cheaper copycat products that infringe Seoul’s technology and sell those products under their branding, despite alleging their compliance with ESG.
“Intellectual property is the only tool that enables small businesses and entrepreneurs to survive and grow up. Companies stealing such hard-earned technology should be expelled from the market,” said Seoul Semiconductor’s founder, Chung Hoon Lee.