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Peter Kisang Kim, formerly a design engineer at Broadcom, which develops semiconductor software products, has been indicted for stealing trade secrets from Broadcom. The indictment alleges Kim, 50, stole Broadcom trade secrets about a type of chips often used in high-volume data centers. Ten days after leaving Broadcom, Kim became a director for a China-based startup company focused on network chip design and the market for networking chips, the indictment says. It alleges that Kim received a laptop from the company and spent his first 9 months on the job using Broadcom trade secrets on that device. The trade secrets included test plans, design verification environment files, and design specifications for the Broadcom family of chips.
- Kim had signed a confidentiality agreement as a condition of his employment and again upon termination.
- Kim had also attended annual refresher training on the handling of confidential information.
- The trade secrets were allegedly restricted to Broadcom employees and stored in non-public document repositories.
- Kim had specifically confirmed Broadcom considered the following as trade secrets: (a) internal design, and development materials, (b) specifications, (c) schematics, (d) source code, (e) architectures, (f) Verilog (a hardware description language), (g) internal test materials, (h) scripts, and (i) test results.
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