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SMIC accuses TSMC of ‘bullying tactics’

Industrial espionage case heats up

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SMIC has accused rival chip foundry TSMC of waging a "smear campaign" against it and behaving like a "bully".

The Chinese chip company's claim followed the filing of further evidence that TSMC believes verifies its allegation that SMIC attempted to steal its trade secrets.

TSMC, the world's largest chip foundry, filed "eyewitness affidavits and new technical verification of trade secret misappropriation by SMIC" with the US District Court of Northern California this week.

It began its legal battle with SMIC last December, when it filed a complaint with the California court claiming its rival attempted to persuade employees to spill the beans on the company's 180nm process technologies. It alleges SMIC tried to do the same thing with staff it had hired away from TSMC.

In response to the filing, SMIC yesterday said it "regrets the outside-the-courtroom smear campaign being waged against it" by TSMC. The company claimed its rival was engaging in "unfair and bullying tactics" in its "premature" filing.

SMIC denies TSMC's allegations and has asked the court to dismiss its rival's claims. It said it will reply to TSMC's claims by 9 April. ®

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