South Korea’s presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae has summoned the top executives of LG Chem and SK Innovation in an attempt to intervene in the fierce legal battle over electric vehicle battery patents between the two conglomerates.
The meeting reportedly happened just before the Chuseok holidays this week, according to sources close to the matter on Sept 14.
From LG, a confidante to LG Chairman & CEO Koo Kwang-mo attended, while SK sent a CEO-level executive.
The move comes amid criticism that the government has not been doing any good in resolving the bitter legal battle that began in April this year.
With the meeting, industry watchers believe the two sides may be urged to leave the table even without LG’s conditions being met. LG Chem, which first filed the suit against LG Innovation, had said it wouldn’t engage in any kind of talks unless the SK unit to issues a ‘heartfelt’ apology, comes up with ‘effective’ preventive measures, and is ready to compensate LG.
SK Innovation had said no to all three conditions.
The two sides are now expected to meet again next week, as soon as LG Chem’s Vice Chairman Shin Hak-cheol returns from his tour of LG units in the US.
Last week, Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo said at a parliamentary committee meeting that he would intervene in the issue, emphasizing that it wasn’t proper or appropriate for the companies to fight in a foreign court, referring to the ITC involvement. Earlier, Deputy Trade Minister Cheong Seung-il set up talks between high-level officials at LG and SK, to no avail.
Amid the lack of progress, LG and SK have each issued press releases statements criticizing the other.
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