SK Hynix, SanDisk settle tech-leak dispute, extend licencing agreement

This story was written originally for ZDNet Korea on Aug. 5, 2015.

SK Hynix announced on Wednesday that the company inked a deal with SanDisk Corp. to extend an intellectual property licensing agreement and multi-year commercial relationship in which Hynix supplies its cutting edge DRAM products to SanDisk.

The deal also includes a settlement of the trade secret misappropriation suit filed by SanDisk in 2014. Hynix is the fifth-largest semiconductor producer in the world and SanDisk is the third-largest manufacturer of flash memory.

“SK Hynix is able to further focus on strengthening its technology competitiveness by putting the legal dispute behind and expanding its collaboration with SanDisk,” a Hynix spokesperson said.

Under the agreement, which expires on March 31, 2023, SanDisk will release SK Hynix of its liability pertaining to the trade secret litigation and license intellectual property rights to SK Hynix in exchange for license and royalty payments to be made over the duration of the agreement.

Hynix declined to say how much the company has agreed to pay in patent fees to SanDisk, “except for ‘the fact’ that the suit has been settled,” the spokesperson said.

“We believe this resolution acknowledges the value of our intellectual property while providing SanDisk access to DRAM solutions desired by our customers for their mobile and SSD Applications for many years to come,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief executive officer of SanDisk, in a press statement by the California-based company.

In December 2014, SK hynix also agreed to settle a lawsuit with Japanese tech firm Toshiba Corporation and, instead, cooperate on developing new technologies.

Toshiba sued the South Korean company in March of the same year through the Tokyo District Court over the alleged theft of its NAND flash memory chip technology.

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