Monday, January 19, 2009, 1/19/2009 02:39:00 PM

International Rectifier Sues Former CEO For Theft of Trade Secrets of Gallium Nitride

By Todd
International Rectifier has filed a federal suit accusing Alexander Lidow of engaging in an ongoing criminal enterprise – also known as a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization, or RICO – by stealing information, intellectual property and technology related to the company’s secret research on a superconducting material that could become the future of semiconductor power management technology. A key hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 2.

The suit alleges that Lidow devised a plan to steal IR’s trade secrets, and then recruited six former IR researchers and sales executives to help him launch a competing company, which is currently using the stolen research to develop its own products from the special material, called gallium nitride.

IR’s chips are in consumer products, such as washing machines, laptop computers, automotive systems and Sony’s PlayStation, as well as military satellites.

Robert Sacks, Lidow’s attorney, said his clients are not using IR’s gallium nitride technology, and that Lidow’s new venture is developing a different product in the semiconductor field.

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