Under Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act, the suit from Toshiba seeks damages for the wrongful acquisition and use of Toshiba’s proprietary technical information related to NAND flash memory, the company says in a statement.
This technology was pioneered by Toshiba in 1987 and is now jointly developed and produced with SanDisk Corporation of the U.S.
Both companies seek damages over the suspected theft of data related to their flagship flash memory chip technology used in smartphones and tablet computers, reports Reuters.
Although Toshiba did not disclose how much it was seeking, the company estimates potential losses of at least 100 billion yen ($980 million) as a result of the alleged leak. This allegation follows the arrest by Tokyo police on Thursday of a former SanDisk engineer suspected of improperly providing technical data to Hynix, where he later worked, according to Reuters.
In a previous case, Toshiba sued Hynix in 2004 seeking damages for the breach of its flash memory patents and an injunction against the sale of related products. The case was ultimately settled through a cross-licensing agreement with Hynix.