Nine people face charges for allegedly selling Samsung’s curved-edge display technology, Reuters reports.
South Korean prosecutors allege that the CEO and eight employees of Toplec, the company that makes the equipment used to create the display panels, formed a shell company to gain access to the intellectual property. They allegedly sold the information for $13.8 million to an unnamed Chinese company, according to the news source.
Samsung Display reportedly also sent the shell company its 3D lamination technology.
Samsung has been a leader in organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology, forcing other companies to scramble to compete with the South Korean tech giant in an already cutthroat market. Earlier this month, Samsung unveiled a prototype for a foldable smartphone.
The curved-edge display technology is used in its much-lauded Galaxy phones, which continue to be well received.
Prosecutors called the 3D lamination display technology “national core technology” that took engineers six years and the equivalent of $134 million to develop, Reuters reports.
Toptec denied any involvement in the scheme and said it is fully cooperating with investigators, Reuters reports.
A Samsung spokesperson told Reuters that the firm would make changes to better protect its intellectual property.