* Follows alleged leak by former SanDisk, Hynix engineer
* Toshiba says loss from alleged leak exceeds 100 bln yen
* Hynix has no comment, says yet to receive litigation
By Chang-Ran Kim and Miyoung Kim
TOKYO, March 14 Partners Toshiba Corp
of Japan and SanDisk Corp of the United States
separately filed civil lawsuits against South Korea's SK Hynix
Inc, seeking damages over the suspected theft of
data related to their flagship flash memory chip technology used
in smartphones and tablet computers.
SK Hynix said on Friday it had not yet received the
litigation and had no comment to make. Hynix competes with both
Toshiba and SanDisk, partners in flash memory technology for
nearly 15 years, in supplying chips to device makers.
The moves follow the arrest by Tokyo police on Thursday of a
former SanDisk engineer suspected of improperly providing
technical data to Hynix, where he later worked.
Toshiba said on Friday it had filed the suit with the Tokyo
District Court. It did not disclose how much it was seeking, but
said it estimates losses of at least 100 billion yen ($980
million) as a result of the alleged leak.
SanDisk said it filed its suit against Hynix and related
entities in Santa Clara Superior Court, in California, seeking
damages, an injunction and other remedies.
Flash memory chips, used to store data in smartphones and
tablets, are a key source of profit for Toshiba, whose key
competitors in the business include South Korea's Samsung
In a previous case, Toshiba sued Hynix in 2004 seeking
damages for the breach of its flash memory patents and an
injunction against the sale of related products. The case was
ultimately settled through a cross-licensing agreement with
Shares in Hynix were down 1.6 percent on Friday morning,
underperforming Seoul's benchmark KOSPI index. Toshiba
was down 3.3 percent, lagging a 2.5 percent fall in Tokyo's