Two of Samsung‘s Displays researchers as well as an external partner executive has been arrested right after South Korean prosecutors charged the three with corporate espionage.
The identities were not disclosed, aside from the fact that they are aged 37 and 47, while both of them held senior positions in Samsung. The other suspect is from the company’s previous partner in display equipment manufacturing. Exact roles the three suspects played aren’t clear yet, but they are currently being charged for their “failure to protect sensitive technology.”
According to a report, a company in China has benefitted from the crime and it has caused damages in millions of dollars for the South Korean tech giant. The issue revolves around the inkjet printing method used in OLED production, which was pioneered by Samsung.
The ‘stolen’ technology could potentially save up to 20% of production costs when making OLED TVs, which is pretty massive at scale. Compared to the current WOLED process, it could give Samsung the edge to price their products more competitively.
To develop the technology, Samsung invested over 10 billion won for the last 3 years, which is equivalent to more than $8.5 million.
This isn’t the first time Samsung had issues with tech theft involving Chinese companies, as they have dealt with similar cases in the past.