HTC designers in hot water for allegedly stealing trade secrets

Several of the top designers from the Taiwanese phone maker have been arrested

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 02 Sep 2013
Things have taken a turn for the worse for Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, three of its top designers have been arrested in Taiwan under suspicion of fraud and stealing trade secrets.
Prosecutors in Taipei have confirmed HTC vice president of product design Thomas Chien, research and developer director Wu Chien-Hung and senior manager of design and innovation Justin Huang were arrested on Friday. Huang has been released on bail but the others remain in police custody.
The arrests came after a complaint was filed by HTC chairwoman Cher Wang. The three have been accused of invoicing for design work carried out in-house and splitting the fee.
According to reports, the trio were planning on setting up a design company, using HTC interface technology, and were to resign after bagging their half yearly bonuses.
HTC released this statement to new site Edgadget: ‘The company expects employees to observe and practice the highest levels of integrity and ethics.
‘Protecting the company's proprietary and intellectual properties, privacy and security is a core fundamental responsibility of every employee. The company does not condone any violation. As this matter is currently under investigation by the relevant authorities, we therefore refrain from further comments.’
For HTC, this follows a string of senior staff departures, plummeting sales and being ditched as a partner by Dr Dre’s Beats headphones company (for generally not being cool enough). Even a $1bn marketing deal with Hollywood bad boy Robert Downey Jr has done little to revitalise the phone maker. The advert starring Downey Jr refers to the phone company as Happy Telephone Company – looks like that couldn’t be further from the truth.

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