Samsung FDI fined by FTC for improper technology transfer

Song Sang-min, director general at the Fair Trade Commmission briefs on Samsung SDI at the agency's office in Sejong on Monday. [YONHAP]

Song Sang-min, director general at the Fair Trade Commmission briefs on Samsung SDI at the agency’s office in Sejong on Monday. [YONHAP]

Samsung SDI was fined 270 million won ($222,000) by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for transferring technology to another company without the consent of the owner of the patent.

According to the antitrust regulator Monday, the Korean battery manufacturer in May 2018 was asked by a manufacturer in China for instructions on building a tray for the transportation of rechargeable batteries parts to a Samsung SDI subsidiary in China.

According to the FTC, the tray was customized for the transportation of a large number of parts efficiently and effectively, and it would have taken a significant investment of time and money to independently develop it.

Samsung SDI itself originally received the design for the tray from a Korean parts supplier, which itself obtained the design from the original developer.

The Korean battery company did not inform the supplier or the developer that it would be passed to the Chinese supplier.

The Chinese company never used the tray design as it failed to develop the parts it was supposed to supply to Samsung SDI.

Additional cases in which Samsung SDI requested intellectual property from subcontractors without the proper paper trail were also identified by the FTC.

It found 16 cases in which Samsung SDI made technology from eight companies available to others without the necessary documentation and nondisclosure agreements.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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