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Toshiba May Increase Damages Sought in SK Hynix Lawsuit

Toshiba Corp. said it may increase the damages it is seeking from SK Hynix Inc. over claims the South Korean semiconductor maker wrongfully acquired information related to memory chips.

Toshiba filed a 109 billion yen ($1 billion) civil suit in March with the Tokyo District Court after a former technician left a company it partners with to make flash-memory chips in 2008 and joined SK Hynix. The technician was arrested in March in Japan under suspicion of leaking research data to the South Korean company.

The lawsuit comes amid intensifying competition among chipmakers and a push among companies to squeeze more money from technical innovations and the protection of patents through litigation or the licensing of rights to third-party firms.

“The amount we are seeking now is 109.151 billion yen,” Tatsuro Oishi, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Toshiba, said by phone. “But this is not all. The amount could increase in the process of the lawsuit.”

Son Hee Young, a Seoul-based spokesman for SK Hynix, declined to comment.

Toshiba, which helped pioneer technology to develop and produce memory chips, competes with Samsung Electronics Co. and others in the market for so-called Nand flash memory, chips that act as storage for data in phones, tablets and some personal computers.

Toshiba added 0.3 percent to close at 469.2 yen in Tokyo trading, extending a 6.2 percent gain this year. SK Hynix lost 3 percent to 49,450 won in Seoul today.

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