Via Technologies Inc. has filed a lawsuit in Taiwan to recover the losses incurred as a result of an alleged misappropriation of Via intellectual property related to USB technology.
Via has filed a civil suit in the Taipei District Court seeking damages of at least NT$4.137 billion from Asustek Computer Inc. and its subsidiary Asmedia Technology. Also named in the suit are Asmedia Chairman Jerry Shen, Asmedia President Lin Chewei, and other Asmedia employees involved in the case.
“As a long-time leader in IC design and technology innovation, Via strongly believes in the importance of protecting intellectual property rights,” commented Wenchi Chen, CEO of Via Technologies, Inc. “In addition to protecting interests of Via and our shareholders, the aim of this suit is to ensure our industry operates in a healthy market environment that fosters innovation and promotes fair competition.”
On 8 November 2013, the Taiwan Prosecutor separately decided to pursue criminal proceedings against Asmedia and four employees, including Chang Chi, vice president of research and development, after the conclusion of its investigation into the alleged misappropriation of Via's trade secrets, as well as violation of Taiwan's Copyright Act. In addition to seeking damages, Via is also requesting the court to instruct Asmedia to cease the production and sales of the allegedly infringing products.
Taiwan amended its Trade Secret Act earlier this year to enhance its IP protection laws. One key reform included increasing the penalties for intellectual property crimes, so anyone who misappropriates trade secrets in Taiwan with the intent to use them overseas may be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined up to USD1.7 million, or possibly more if there are substantial illicit gains.