LG Chem has sued SK Innovation to Seoul Central District Prosecution Office again, people familiar with the matter told TheElec on Wednesday.
LG was likely putting pressure on SK and using the lawusit as an added bargaining chip to receive a higher amount of settlement in their trade leak lawsuit. LG first sued SK back in May of last year, claiming that the latter stole trade secrets related to electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
A LG Chem spokesperson said it merely filed its opinion on the matter to prosecutors. A SK Innovation spokesperson said it was looking into the matter and declined to comment further.
The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is expected to announce their final judgment on the dispute between LG Chem and SK Innovation on October 5. In an earlier preliminary judgment in February, the commission took the side of LG.
The two companies are currently preparing for settlement negotiations. They have not met yet however. Representatives of the two were expected to have their first meeting on May but this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SK Innovation is expected to offer a settlement of around 1 trillion won, people familiar with the matter said. Battery equipment makers have asked SK after USITC’s preliminary decision on whether they can continue to supply their goods to the company. The amount was mentioned in these discussions, they said. The LG Chem spokesperson said they have not reached an agreement on the settlement amount.
The two companies’ dispute began last year in April __ LG Chem claimed SK Innovation stole its trade secret, and the two engaged in a battle of words in the media. LG Chem first filed a lawsuit against SK Innovation for stealing trade secrets in August. SK Innovation retaliated with a patent lawsuit against LG Chem the same month. Then, the police commenced a search and seizure against SK Innovation.
The dispute continued to escalate until the USITC’s preliminary judgment earlier in February. The final judgment expected in October will likely cripple SK Innovation’s global operations if it can’t reach a settlement with LG Chem.