May 2, 2019: The American unit of lithium ion battery maker LG Chem has sued its South Korean contemporary SK Innovation to protect its ‘core technologies and intellectual property’, news agency Reuters reported on April 30.
The Korean–headquartered firm has accused SK Innovation of misappropriation of trade secrets by hiring its former employees, and has filed concurrent suits with the US International Trade Commission and the US District Court of Delaware.
The suits allege the defendants accessed trade secrets when SK Innovation hired 77 employees from the lithium ion battery division of LG Chem, reported news website Yahoo Finance.
LG Chem has asked the commission to stop SK’s imports of samples of lithium ion batteries and infrastructure technology infringing LG Chem’s trade secrets into the US, according to Reuters.
The news agency quoted Shin Hak Cheol, LG Chem’s vice chairman and CEO, as saying the lawsuit was an inevitable measure to protect its core technologies and intellectual property drawn from lengthy research and immense investment.
A statement from SK Innovations said: “SK Innovation’s battery business will grasp the situation and clarify allegations raised by LG Chem through legal procedures.”
LG Chem said it expects the ITC’s final ruling on the case in the second half of 2020, reported Reuters.
Last November, ESJ reported that SK innovation was set to invest $1.6 billion in a new manufacturing plant in Jackson County, Georgia, to build cells for use in electric vehicles.