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Dispute between ASMedia and ASUSTek continues

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Computer chip manufacturer ASMedia Technology Inc (祥碩科技), a subsidiary of ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (華碩電腦), yesterday proclaimed that the speed of its Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 product development was faster than that of rival VIA Technologies, Inc. (威盛電子), a subsidiary of VIA Labs, Inc. (威鋒電子) by three months, and that its advantage therefore proves there is no reason for the company to utilize VIA's circuit diagram.

ASMedia also said that VIA does not have a USB 3.0 product similar to its own. According to ASMedia, it began investing in the aforementioned technology in December of 2007. In December of 2009 the control chip of its USB device passed certification by the USB Implementers Forum (USB設計論壇協會) and the control chip of its USB host was certified in May of 2011, the company said.

ASMedia's latest rebuttal came in response to VIA Technologies CEO Chen Wen-chi's (陳文琦) assertion on Thursday, Dec. 19 that ASUSTek Chairman Johnny Shih (施崇棠) did not understand the full details of the case, according to the United Evening News. Chen asked ASUSTek to own up to what he said were its alleged mistakes.

On Tuesday, Dec. 17 Viacom announced it was seeking damages worth NT$4.137 billion in a civil lawsuit against Asustek and its subsidiary ASMedia, alleging intellectual property infringement and theft of commercial secrets. Besides asking for financial compensation for losses suffered, VIA is asking the court to issue an order prohibiting the manufacturing and sales of products that constitute the alleged violation.

The case is proceeding as prosecutors charged four employees of ASMedia on Nov. 8 with violating intellectual property rights by stealing USB manufacturing technology. The lawsuit alleged violations of the Copyright Act (著作權法). Many employees at VIA are former employees of ASMedia. During the second half of 2007, more than twenty systems development engineers at Viacom went to work for ASMedia, according to the UEN.

ASMedia's announcement questioned the motivation behind the original copyright lawsuit. The company applied for Initial Price Offering on July 16, 2012, and VIA filed the lawsuit in August of the same year, ASMedia said, accusing its commercial rival of harboring suspicious motives.

The technology that Viacom accuses ASMedia of stealing is the PHY chip technology, according to the Chinese-language newspaper Apple Daily. PHY technology allows the conversion of data from a digital form suitable for short-distance transmission to an analog form better allowing longer-range transmission.

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