Like most other big names in the mobile tech industry, Samsung has long been subjected to premature leaks, with news and specs on upcoming gadgets making their way out into the world before their time. And once a rumor is picked up by the media, pretty much everyone knows about it.
This was the case for nearly all its August 11 releases, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3
, Galaxy Z Flip 3
, and even the Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung has been getting increasingly frustrated over this fact, and since earlier this year has been sending warning letters
to any media spreading such leaks, and copyright striking
circulating leaked images.
However, the company recently made another unexpected legal move to gain some control over the rampant leaks, which have been hurting the building anticipation up to the launch dates.
The strategy Samsung has devised is a new confidentiality agreement for its semiconductor and other parts manufacturer partners, in particular. The revised agreement includes banning new employees from working on Samsung part production, and also requires that Samsung be notified any time that an employee leaves any of its partners, and within a year goes to work for a competitor.
The Elec notes
that although Samsung has a history of restricting its own employees from working for competitors in their own contracts, this is a first for the company to extend that policy to its partners. Samsung threatens a hefty penalty for the breaching of either of the two clauses, starting at the equivalent of $85,000 and going up from there.
The new contracts aren't being forced on all of Samsung partners, but rather only on those deeply involved in the manufacturing of its semiconductors and other technical components. This includes some Japanese companies and South Korean subsidiaries of international corporations, says The Elec, but was not extended to the manufacturers of the fab equipment involved in production.
Most companies in South Korea and Japan to which Samsung put the contract forward have agreed to sign it without issue, unlike other countries at the moment—which have apparently been making complaints over the rigidity of the new terms.
It seems plausible that all this has to do with Samsung's recent falling out with Mujin Electronics, a former Samsung partner who was caught trying to leak Samsung's tech secrets to a competing Chinese electronics company—after which Samsung immediately dropped them.