SHANGHAI, China South Korean prosecutors have indicted four men for corporate espionage in connection with stealing technical secrets related to WiBro technology a WiMax variant and trying to sell them to a US firm for about $190 million.
The Seoul Central Prosecutors Office is accusing an unnamed employee of Posdata Co., a developer of WiBro, of sending email with proprietary information to three former employees who live in the US, according to local media reports on Sunday.
They intended to sell the information to a company described only by its first initial "I" in the prosecutor's statement.
WiBro is short for wireless broadband. It was developed by South Korea as a 802.16 variant so that local companies could capture some of the benefits of homegrown intellectual property. Samsung Electronics is one of the biggest system developers of WiBro as well as WiMax.
South Korea started WiBro trial services last year. Currently, WiBro covers most of Seoul, and is being slowly introduced in other big cities. Universal coverage is some ways away, but the service already covers about 25 percent of the South Korean population, said Hyun-myung Pyo, executive vice president at Korea Telecom.
Prosecutors said Posdata employed 170 engineers and spent about $95 million to develop its Wibro technology, and could have lost revenues in excess of ten times that if its secrets were revealed.