SK Hynix, SanDisk kiss and make up over trade secret lawsuit

Korean chipmaker is no longer held liable in any trade secret litigation after it agrees to license "certain intellectual property rights" from SanDisk, in a deal that runs until March 31, 2023.

SanDisk has dropped its lawsuit against Korea's chipmaker SK Hynix, after both sides agree to ink a patent and manufacturing agreement.

The U.S. storage vendor in March last year filed for damages alleging trade secrets were leaked after a former engineer, who had worked in a joint venture between SanDisk and Toshiba, was hired by SK Group's semiconductor business. Tokyo police had arrested the former SanDisk engineer suspected to have provided NAND flash memory technical data to SKY Hynix.

Under the settlement, the Korean manufacturer would be released "of its liability pertaining to the trade secret litigation", SanDisk said in a statement.

In exchange, SK Hynix would license and pay royalty for certain intellectual property rights from SanDisk during the term of the agreement, which runs until March 31, 2023.

It also will produce DRAM chips for microchannel plates and SSD devices for the U.S. storage vendor.

SK Hynix had earlier settled a separate lawsuit with Toshiba in which the Japanese hardware maker agreed to drop its charges and inked a joint agreement to develop nano imprint lithography.

SanDisk President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra 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."