by Anton Shilov
12/20/2013 | 11:45 PM
Asustek Computer on Friday made an official statement regarding the legal actions against Asus and Asmedia taken by Via Technologies earlier this week. The company clearly stated that it and its management cannot be responsible for Asmedia. Moreover, one of the world’s largest makers of PCs and computer components accused Via Technologies of trying to disrupt Asustek’s business operations.
“Asustek Computer and Asmedia Technology are independent legal entity by any means. To include Asus Computer in the case is not applicable in law. The intention of Via Technologies to file more lawsuits against Asustek Computer and the management team is very doubtful. It is considered a possible strategy to disturb Asustek’s normal business operation,” a statement by Asus with Taiwan Stock Exchange reads.
This week Via Technologies, a designer of core-logic sets, controllers and application processors, said that it had filed a civil suit in the Taipei District Court seeking damages of at least NT$4.137 billion (US$138 million) from Asustek Computer and its subsidiary Asmedia Technology. Via accuses Asus and Asmedia of using its IP while developing USB 3.0 chips. Earlier the Taiwan Prosecutor decided to pursue criminal proceedings against a subsidiary of Asustek Computer and four of that subsidiary’s employees for the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets from Via Technologies. Also named in the suit are Asmedia chairman Jerry Shen, Asmedia president Lin Chewei, and other Asmedia employees involved in the case.
Asus said Friday that the Taipei District Prosecutor Office had ruled not to prosecute Jerry Shen, the chairman of Asmedia Technology, and JeiWei Lin, the president of Asmedia Technology, for the case made by Via Technologies, as they have not violated any rules claimed by Via Technologies.
The lawsuit alleges that a former Via executive, Chewei Lin, left Via in 2007 and joined Asmedia (controlled by Asus Group), taking dozens of Via employees with him, and also Via’s intellectual property related to USB technology, including host controllers and device controllers. Those products are used in many computing and consumer electronics products, including PCs, external hard disk drives, and peripheral devices. Asustek Computer is the largest single purchaser of Asmedia USB products.
The total Asus Group stake in Asmedia is 56.23%. Asustek Computer, is Asmedia’s single largest shareholder with a stake of 43.89% and two other subsidiaries hold the remainder. Asustek Computer, Inc is the largest single customer of Asmedia. Asmedia chairman Jerry Shen is also the general manager of the Asus motherboard business unit.
“Asustek will cooperate with prosecutor office and the court to better find out truth and facts,” the company said.