LG Energy Solution stressed that SK Innovation must publicly admit that it stole trade secrets for a settlement to happen in the pair’s legal dispute.
Last week, the US International Trade Commission, in it determination, favored LG over SK in the two companies dispute over trade secret leak. LG had filed a lawsuit against SK for stealing its trade secret related to electric car batteries.
The ITC handed down a 10-year import ban against SK in its ruling.
In an online press conference following the ruling last week, LG executives said the two companies had so far failed to reach a settlement in their negotiations due to SK’s reluctance in admitting wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, SK had said there has been no concrete schedule for a settlement. A spokesperson also said the mention of 500 billion won in damages for LG in the press was likely referring to legal fees spent on trials.
SK claimed the ruling from the ITC was regrettable, given the reaction from Ford, Volkswagen and the state of Georgia in the US. The two car companies are the Korean energy company’s customers in battery. SK has a battery factory in Georgia.
A LG Energy Solution spokesperson said that a settlement figure of 2.5 trillion won was mentioned in the local press but, following the final verdict from ITC, Credit Suisse had estimated a settlement of 5 trillion won in damages. They stressed that for LG Energy Solution, an admittance of violating its trade secret from SK Innovation was of the foremost importance. The settlement that SK will need to pay afterwards will be based will be based on damages and legal fees, the spokesperson said.
There is little time left for SK. ITC’s decision will go into effect 60 days after the ruling unless there is a Presidential veto.
The commission suspended the ban on SK for batteries used in Ford’s F-150 pickup truck for four years. But in reality, SK will have little time to supply batteries to Ford for long. The factories in Georgia it is building will take at least a year to complete and production will begin months afterwards before a supply to Ford is possible. The ITC’s 2-year suspension for batteries to Volkswagen is also not enough for SK to supply a sufficient amount.
In reaction to the ITC’s ruling, Volkswagen and Ford has asked for an extension of the suspension and a settlement between LG and SK. Georgia governor Brian Kemp has asked President Joe Biden to veto ITC’s ruling.
If LG and SK fail to reach a settlement before April 11, they will continue their legal battle at a district court in Delaware.