Largan Precision seeking NT$1.5b from Ability suit

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 26, 2013 - Page 13

Handset camera lens maker Largan Precision Co (大立光) yesterday said it had requested NT$1.5 billion (US$51.13 million) in compensation from its rival Ability Optoelectronic Technology Inc (先進光電) for stealing trade secrets.

The company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that it had also requested an injunction from the Intellectual Property Court to prevent Ability’s continued use of two patents, which were derived from Largan’s own technologies.

“The company has requested that the court prohibit Ability from implementing, transferring or disposing of two patents based on stolen trade secrets,” Largan said in the filing.

The Greater Taichung-based company said the court approved its request on Oct. 11.

Largan yesterday restated in the filing that former employees were suspected of stealing trade secrets related to the company’s automation and process technologies, and passing them to Ability, which then registered for patents in Taiwan, China and the US.

The company said it had filed criminal and civil lawsuits to a district court on Tuesday, accusing Ability’s chairman and its former chief executive officers, as well as the former Largan employees over the theft.

Largan said it had followed the Intellectual Property Court’s instructions and prepared a NT$121 million guarantee. The injunction would take effect until a final judgement is made by the district court, it added.

The company said its ongoing litigation against Ability would not have a significant impact on its day-to-day business.

Ability yesterday declined to comment on Largan’s latest moves.

Largan’s shares closed down 1.49 percent yesterday at NT$990 and Ability saw its shares close down 0.34 percent at NT$29.75.