Feeds

HTC trio suspected of pilfering design IP

Investigators storm mobe maker's offices after firm sounds alarm

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Senior members of HTC’s design team have been detained by Taiwanese investigators on suspicion of defrauding the under-fire smartphone maker and stealing valuable IP.

HTC raised the alarm with Taiwan’s Bureau of Investigators after the suspects – including VP of product design Thomas Chien, R&D director Wu Chien Hung and design team senior manager Justin Huang – set up their own design company, report Bloomberg and Engadget.

The mobile phone company thinks the three have been stealing trade secrets, after it apparently caught Chien downloading info on the new Sense 6.0 UI before emailing them to contacts outside the company.

If that proves to be true, it would seem that HTC’s design team haven’t grasped the concept of data loss prevention technology.

The three are also suspected of conspiring with a third party design firm to issue false invoices for the One’s chassis design to the tune of NT$10 million (£215,500). They are said to have carried out the work in-house, but then arranged for the external firm to invoice HTC, and then split the cash between themselves.

Chien and Wu have now apparently been taken into custody while Huang and two others questioned were released on bail. Investigators also raided HTC’s offices on Friday night, seizing the suspects’ phones and laptops.

HTC didn't immediately get back to us with a statement, but sent Engadget the following:

The company expects employees to observe and practice the highest levels of integrity and ethics. Protecting the company's proprietary and intellectual properties, privacy and security is a core fundamental responsibility of every employee. The company does not condone any violation. As this matter is currently under investigation by the relevant authorities, we therefore refrain from further comments.

The developments are yet another unwanted distraction as the ailing Taiwanese smartphone maker battles poor financial results and sluggish demand for its handsets.

Shares tumbled to almost an eight year low at the end of July as the firm warned that Q3 may see its first ever operating loss. Profits were down 83 per cent in Q2 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.

The mobe maker has also been struggling to hang on to senior execs this year, with chief product officer Matthew Costello, VP of global comms Jason Gordon, product strategy manager Eric Lin and global retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland all exiting. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
'Cleantech' a dirty word for VCs? RUBBISH!
They just think the current schemes are terrible
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.