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Insiders Leak Samsung Semiconducter Tech

There's a case of industrial espionage going on between semiconductor companies located in South Korea and the United States. The Associated Press reports that South Korean prosecutors indicted 18 people for leaking Samsung semiconductor technology to rival Hynix Semiconductor, Inc. Those involved included employees of U.S.-based Allied Materials and its South Korean branch.

Prosecutors believe that the technology was obtained from Samsung by Allied employees working at the South Korean branch, and then passed on the stolen tech to Hynix. Apparently the local Applied branch has access to Samsung's "core technology" through the installation and maintenance of the company's chip manufacturing equipment.

Out of the 18, the court has only detained four suspects: one employee from Samsung, one employee from Hynix, the former head of Applied Materials' South Korean branch, and one of the employees from the same branch. The prosecution is also considering the detainment of a former Samsung employee who is now working for Applied Materials in the U.S.

All the while, Samsung expressed great regret over the whole deal. "We are very concerned by this transgression, as it is likely to damage the semiconductor market," Samsung spokeswoman Lee Soo-jeong told the Associated Press. "We plan to take appropriate measures."