LG Chem submitted the basic documents for its battery trade secrecy infringement litigation in the U.S. against SK Innovation to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (“MOTIE”), which have been rejected.
According to the industry on the 21st, LG Chem submitted the basic documents of litigation to MOTIE last week. The lawsuit will be filed to the US District Court in Delaware and the International Trade Commission (ITC). Because the materials are tied to National Core Technology, the materials’ overseas release must first be approved.
However, for unknown reasons, MOTIE did not approve the claim. In the industry, it is presumed that no solid evidence was included in the LG Chem's basic litigation materials. That is, the release may expose the National Core Technology overseas. It has been confirmed that LG Chem has started a review for re-submission this week. The basic materials contain LG Chem's claim that SK Innovation violated the US federal trade secret protection laws and illegally seized technology.
MOTIE must judge how specifically the basic materials created by LG Chem describe the National Core Technology. The battery is registered as one case of "design, process, manufacture, and evaluation technology of lithium secondary battery of medium and large type high-energy density (pouch-type 250Wh/kg or more or 85% of pouch-type for square-type) electric automobiles and etc.” in the electric and electronic field.
In the industry, LG Chem is expected to request a special committee to proceed with the litigation smoothly. After opinions are received through several professional committees, deliberations will be held by the Industrial Technology Protection Committee. This process takes about one month. The litigation in the U.S. can only proceed in earnest only after the materials are delivered. If the expert committee finds that there is a risk of leakage of the National Core Technology, it can be disadvantageous to the litigation.
Some speculate that the more detailed the litigation materials, the bigger the concerns about the leakage of the National Core Technology will be. An industry official said, “the key is how much a court in the U.S. can be involved as most of the claims in the petition made by LG Chem took place in South Korea. LG Chem is trying to block SK Innovation from supplying the orders for Volkswagen EV batteries in the US. The two companies have been aggrieved by each other during the sales process.”
The litigation began on April 30 when LG Chemical filed a lawsuit against SK Innovation in the US District Court of Delaware, arguing that SK Innovation has ‘infringed trade secrets." At the ITC, it has requested an overall ban on imports of battery cells, packs and samples of SK Innovation in the U.S.