Samsung is one of the leading companies when it comes to electronics and they must constantly fight leaks of their proprietary technology. That is what 11 people were indicted for in South Korea, leaking Samsung's OLED technology to China. The company has been able to maintain its reputation for quality and cutting-edge products through its protection of the intellectual property behind their success.
The company nearly has a monopoly on the flatscreen television market, partly due to its OLED technology that exists inside 95 percent of Samsung's panels. In fact, the OLED isn't just driving their products popularity, it is driving a significant part of the company's revenue.
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China is known for its ability to back engineer products and create near identical twins to products ranging from Apple iPhones and yes, Samsung's OLED technology. Chinese smartphone manufacturers have been using Samsung's OLED panels inside their own devices and flagship smartphones. But the OLED panels inside Chinese products have a ways to go before they compare to Samsung's version of the technology.
A new indictment reveals prosecutors in South Korea are charging 11 people with leaking Samsung's OLED technology to larger continental neighbor China. Those listed in the indictment are former employees of a vendor that apparently produced automated machines that manufactured OLED panels.
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The group of employees have been charged with leaking Samsung Display’s 3D Lamination technology which is used for curved OLED panels, the newest iteration of the home entertainment variety. Three of the 11 have been arrested and are awaiting trial while the others remain out of custody, including the company's CEO.
The employees even had a shell company which was set up to send information received from working with Samsung. This included everything from information about equipment to drawings of the display panels. The vendor then sold the trade secrets to an undisclosed buyer in China for a whopping $14 million. Those must have been some very detailed drawings.
The secretive group even had second identities setup to avoid detection including secondary names, phones, and personal email addresses. The employees knew what they were doing could land them in big trouble since they even had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Samsung.
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Samsung is pursuing charges against the fraudulent company over the leaked technology which it claims took six years and millions of dollars to create. There was a team of 38 engineers working on the Samsung Display’s 3D Lamination technology and went as far as to get it designated as a national core technology affording it protection by South Korea's industrial technology protection laws.
Samsung said in a statement that the company is "shocked at the results of the investigation by prosecutors, at a time when competitors are intensifying their technological rivalry."
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