A former Broadcom engineer, Peter Kisang Kim has been charged with trade secret theft involving Broadcom trade secrets. Kim worked as a principal design engineer at Broadcom and had been employed by the company for over twenty years. Broadcom’s products include networking chips used in equipment sold worldwide, including for enterprise and data center networking.
According to the indictment, days before Kim left the company on July 17th, 2020, he stole Broadcom trade secrets from the company that were associated with a Broadcom family of chips often used in high-volume data centers. The trade secrets were stored in non-public document repositories that were restricted to Broadcom employees within the same suborganization, or to Broadcom employees working on a project. About ten days after his departure from Broadcom, Kim began working at the director level for Company-1, a China-based startup company focused on chip design and the market for networking chips, according to the indictment. The indictment alleges that Kim received a laptop for his work at Company-1 and, during the nine months following his departure from Broadcom and the start of his work at Company-1, that Kim possessed and repeatedly used Broadcom trade secrets on the newly issued laptop and on other electronic devices. These trade secrets were associated with test plans, design verification environment files, and design specifications for the Broadcom family of chips.
The indictment charges Kim with eighteen counts trade secret theft. An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Kim faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release, for each count. The court also may order additional assessments, forfeiture, and restitution; however, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence.
Kim made his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose, where he was arraigned on the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. Kim was released on a $500,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport and other travel documents.
Contact ITMG to Develop Strategies and Protocols Designed to Help Your Company Mitigate Your Insider Risk
ITMG is an industry leader in helping organizations throughout the United States strengthen their insider risk management programs and secure sensitive data and intellectual property. Our team of bona fide experts has the real-world experience necessary to plan out and create holistic security solutions tailored to the needs and risks in your industry. Contact ITMG today to learn more about how we can help! You can also visit our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more updates and insights into the world of insider risk management.