Two former Gogoro engineers have been accused of stealing classified information for their new employer LSC that is none other than the core figure in birthing Gogoro’s motor.
New Taipei District Prosecutors Office initiated a search and interview on October 14, and detained two former Gogoro engineers. Who is this LSC that these two individuals defected to and stole confidential information for? Here is a distant story.
Cheng Jung-ho, professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, took 30 students and built a solar vehicle from the ground up 15 years ago, and went to Australia to participate in a competition, where they travelled across 3000km in a desert, which granted them 5th place in the world. Cheng has been regarded by many as playing midwife to the electric vehicle technology of Taiwan.
Gogoro founder Horace Luke was looking everywhere for the provision of power units by carrying his precious design layout of the first generation Gogoro during 2013, and had been unsuccessful before he heard about how there was a student from the solar vehicle research team back then is still studying for the PhD program at the National Taiwan University. The two hit it off, and the PhD student took with him a group of juniors and joined Gogoro, who started building the water cooling permanent-magnet electric motor that became a sensation subsequently.
This PhD student was the senior R&D assistant president at Gogoro before he left the company, who used to serve as the supervisor of the Gogoro Powertrain department, and was known within the company as the chief motor master. His name is Lin Song-ching, founder and current CEO of LSC.
▲ Lin Song-ching, former senior R&D associate president of Gogoro. (Source: Gogoro)
Lin departed from Gogoro in June 2019 and founded LSC. During his last public speech, Lin mentioned that Taiwan’s development in electric vehicles needs to find another direction apart from the ICT model, and that Gogoro needs to return to the essence of transportation, despite its preliminary success from the strategy of being a consumer electronic product.
Judging by the description of LSC, it seems that Lin wishes to transform the company into a professional OEM for the power unit of electric scooters through his accumulated experience in motor design, and such business blueprint has seemingly incentivized investors, which resulted in the rapid surge of the company’s capital from NTD$30 million at the end of 2019 to the existing NTD$180 million, with a market estimation of NTD$1 billion.
However, Lin’s entrepreneurial dream is about to be hit with the rigorous ordeal from the justice department, and he will have to build another new electric motor if LSC is found guilty of patent infringement, which will impose a substantial challenge as the new product has to surpass his past creations.
Both parties remain under the radar and refuse to make relevant comments as the case enters the investigation phase. Gogoro had only commented that the company will do everything in its power to protect its stolen patents, whereas LSC had responded that its technical R&D after the founding of the company have all underwent patent legal review, and the company seeks to achieve autonomous designs, so the fate of the two companies now rests on the hand of the judicial decision.
(Cover photo source: Gogoro)