LG Energy Solution on Friday called for SK Innovation to reengage in the pair’s negotiation for a settlement after the US International Trade Commission ruled in favor of the former in their dispute over trade secret.
On Thursday, ITC published a redacted version of its final judgment in the pair’s dispute. In the report, the commission said SK Innovation's destruction of evidence "was ordered at a high level and was carried out by department heads throughout SK," and called the company’s move "extraordinary."
“The record of the investigation demonstrates not merely SK’s eagerness to destroy documents, but also SK’s callous disregard to ascertain the scope of the destruction after the commencement of Commission proceedings,” it noted.
After the publication, SK Innovation responded in a statement, claiming that ITC failed to identity violation of trade secrets.
In a response to that, LG Energy Solution held a conference call, calling for its rival to accept ITC’s determination and reengage in their negotiations sincerely.
LG said if SK was to accept responsibility, it will engage in the negotiations flexibly, in consideration of the potential damages a settlement could cause to SK’s business operations. However, if SK continues to refuse in accepting ITC’s judgment, LG will start the related lawsuit [in Delaware], which could cause SK to pay damages higher than a settlement.
LG stressed that ITC was a US government organization equivalent to a court and SK was refusing to accept the organization’s judgment, which comes after two years of investigations and hearing of opinions from both sides.
LG stressed that ITC clearly accepted that SK violated its technology in all aspects related to lithium-ion batteries.
On SK’s allegation that the pair’s method of production and development of batteries were completely different, LG said there was no differences in their basic processes with only some differences in some of the process. SK was making a mountain out of molehill with some of the minor differences in the pair’s battery production process, LG said.
Since the final judgment was first announced on February 10, LG said it has proposed to SK that they restart their negotiations but SK was yet to respond. The companies also had different ideas on the settlement amount, LG said, with their differences being in the trillions of wons range.
LG denied reports that it was hurrying its negotiations with SK due to cost of the recall of Hyundai Kona EV. LG said if that were the case, the company would seek an all-cash settlement from SK, but it didn’t care whether SK paid in cash, equity or royalties, as long as the sum total met its standard for how much the payment should be.