HTC executives indicted for leaking trade secrets
The China Post news staff with CNA
December 28, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Six employees of leading Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp., including its vice president of product design Thomas Chien (簡志霖), were indicted Friday on charges of leaking trade secrets and breach of trust.
The Taipei District Court late yesterday released Chien on NT$8 million bail. Wu Chien-hung (吳建宏), research and development director at HTC, was released on NT$5 million bail. The Court imposed domicile restrictions on both Chien and Wu and required them to report to the police every Monday and Thursday.
Three of HTC's materials suppliers were also indicted for allegedly helping HTC design executives make false expense claims of over NT$33 million (US$1.1 million).
In its indictment, the Taipei Prosecutors Office said Chien, who has been detained since Aug. 31, had stolen and leaked key icon designs to his would-be Chinese business partners in Beijing in June. The designs were for HTC's yet-to-be-unveiled smartphone interface.
Chien's actions were in violation of Article 13 of the Trade Secrets Act that bans stealing or unauthorized reproduction, revelation and use of key corporate business secrets, the indictment said.
Moreover, it said, Chien had colluded with Wu Chien-hung, HTC's research and development director, to defraud the company of NT$33.566 million by using fake invoices to inflate their expenses and demanding rebates from HTC's suppliers.
The indictment said Chien and Wu also betrayed their company's trust, as they had set up a separate firm and enticed their subordinates to work for them.
Prosecutors are seeking the maximum penalty for Chien, saying he showed no remorse during the investigation and put up specious arguments in an attempt to justify his illegal actions.