Feeds

HTC trio suspected of pilfering design IP

Investigators storm mobe maker's offices after firm sounds alarm

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
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.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.