Feeds

HTC trio suspected of pilfering design IP

Investigators storm mobe maker's offices after firm sounds alarm

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.