US International Trade Commission (ITC) made a preliminary ruling in favor of LG Chem over SK Innovation on their ongoing legal battery over electric vehicle (EV) battery trade secrets, according to the LG affiliate on Feb. 15 (local time.)
"ITC has accepted our claims and made a default judgment without the need for additional hearings or investigations," said an LG Chem official.
ITC will deliver its final ruling no later than Oct. 5, after which LG Chem’s requested embargo on SK Innovation's EV products will take effect. However, there is a chance that the US government or the president exercising veto rights. Previously, former President Barack Obama had exercised such rights over the ITC ruling on lawsuits between Apple and Samsung Electronics. In this case, the case could drag on for longer.
In November this year, LG Chem had requested ITC to reach an early decision on the case, and to recognize that SK Innovation had misappropriated and used LG Chem’s EV battery trade secrets.
LG Chem also said SK Innovation had spoiled the related evidence and is guilty of civil contempt, as the SK company had not complied with ITC's digital forensics orders.
Earlier in April, LG Chem had filed lawsuits with ITC and a US District Court of Delaware, requesting a suspension on importing EV battery-related products from SK Innovation. LG Chem also demanded compensation from its rival for the theft of trade secrets.
LG Chem and SK Innovation have fought over EV battery-related trade secrets since last year, with government officials failing to negotiate a compromise between the two. The rivals are now hinting at settlement. LG Chem said it remains open to dialogue.
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