AUO former executives are suspected of selling OLED technology to Chinese companies

AUO is suing two former executives that allegedly stole technologies (including AMOLED related ones) from the company and supplied it China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT, a subsidiary of TCL). The Taiwanese Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) said that the investigation is nearly over and the findings will be passed over to prosecutors soon.

AUO says that the executives were compensated with annual salaries of over $1 million in exchange for the technology. Taiwan wants to become a major supplier of OLED panels and considers this leak very sensitive.

In March 2012 it was reported that CSOT plans to enter the AMOLED market. They aim to start production by the end of 2012 in a 4.5-Gen LTPS line. Currently the company is producing large LCD screens for TVs, and this will be its first entry into small displays for mobile devices. AUO is now moving into OLED mass production of 4.3" qHD panels (257 ppi). AUO's current capacity is about 7,000 monthly substrates in their Gen-3.5 fab. Later on the company plans to bring their Gen-4.5 fab in Singapore (at AFPD) online with a monthly capacity of 15,000 substrates.

In recent months we've seen several OLED technology leaks and espionage cases. In September 2012 Samsung Display filed a lawsuit against LG over OLED technology tech leak. Samsung claims that LG Display stole 18 confidential technologies relating to OLED displays, and also gave some of the information to a third party. LG Display retorted with a counter-suit of their own, claiming Samsung is infringing on seven of their OLED patents. Samsung also reported that two of its OLED TVs were 'lost' during the shipment to the IFA exhibition, and this may be another case of industry espionage.

In July we reported that 11 former and current Samsung employees were charged of giving LG Display confidential OLED technology. Back in May 2012 the Korean police started to investigate another case of OLED technology leakage - this time by Israeli company Orbotech's local Korean branch. Orbotech employees are suspected of leaking AMOLED technology from both LG Display and Samsung to several Chinese and Taiwanese companies.

Posted: Oct 16,2012 by Ron Mertens