UPDATED. 2024-04-11 10:05 (목)
TEMC and Matheson in legal battle over tech leak
TEMC and Matheson in legal battle over tech leak
  • Noh Tae Min 기자
  • 승인 2024.03.17 19:01
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Over chip gas diborane
Image: TEMC
Image: TEMC

TEMC and Matheson Gas Products Korea are in the middle of a legal dispute over alleged trade secret theft that could have huge consequences for their respective bottom lines.

Late last year, South Korean prosecutors indicted executives of TEMC over allegedly leaking trade secrets held by Metheson.

The first session of the trial began late last month and TEMC CEO Weonyang Yu and another executive are accused of illegal transactions involving technology related to the gas diborane (B2H6), which is used in semiconductor production.

Prosecutors said Yu and the other executive who previously worked at Metheson stole the technology when they joined TEMC. The executive oversaw factory operations at Metheson until December 2017 and joined TEMC in February of the next year.

South Korean chipmakers have used gas from Metheson that is produced domestically at Asan and Air Liquide Electronics’ which is produced in the US.

TEMC is a relative newcomer, having successfully started producing diborane in 2022.

Yu and the executive will need to prove that their company’s gas didn’t rely on Metheson’s technology to produce. Sources said diborane accounted for over 20% of TEMC’s revenue last year.

TEMC said in a statement in November that it didn’t expect to be indicted and if it was found guilty it expected a small fine of 10 million won.

The company recorded 163.2 billion won in revenue and 21.6 billion won in operating profit last year, an over 50% drop for both from the previous year.

This was from prices of gas such as neon and krypton dropping due to their lowered demand from the downturn of the chip market.

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