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Applied Settles Industrial Theft Charges From Samsung

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 4:19am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Applied Materials Inc. has settled industrial theft claims from Samsung Electronics Co., agreeing to give the South Korean electronics company discounts on purchases of semiconductor manufacturing equipment for three years.

Applied, a U.S. company which makes equipment for chip manufacturers, says the settlement announced Tuesday resolves claims and potential litigation over the "alleged acquisition, misappropriation and misuse" of Samsung computer chip technology.

It follows the indictment by South Korean prosecutors in February of 18 people suspected of leaking Samsung's technology to its domestic rival Hynix Semiconductor via the South Korea arm of Applied Materials.

Applied had access to Samsung's technology as it installed and maintained the company's chip manufacturing equipment.

The U.S. company said Samsung accounted for about 10 percent of its sales in the last financial year. The effect on earnings would depend on how much equipment Samsung purchased under the discount scheme, it said.

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