Huge financial loss for ASML after employees stole trade secrets

ASML was conned out of hundreds of millions of euros after employees stole trade secrets, the Financieele Dagblad (financial newspaper) reports.

The theft occurred in 2014 at ASML’s San Jose office in the US. While still employed by ASML, according to Santa Clara, California Superior Court documents, six former high-level ASML employees, all with Chinese names, stole software for mask optimization, a specific part of ASML’s product and services portfolio.

In its reaction, ASML said the aim of the theft was to create a competing product and sell it to an existing ASML customer in South Korea. The funding for this company XTAL originated from South Korea and China. The damage award by the Santa Clara Superior Court was 223 million dollars and based on “unjust enrichment” in connection with lost sales opportunities. It is unclear to what extent these damages can be collected from the now bankrupt company XTAL.

“ASML found no hard proof of involvement of the Chinese government,” the newspaper quoted CEO Peter Wennink of the Veldhoven-based company.

ASML reacted with a press release today which can be read here.


Source: Studio040
Translation: Nicola W



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