Some of the employees at Hanwha Corp had been sued by their former employer over alleged technology leak, TheElec has learned.
Around ten employees of the Hanwha’s battery equipment business unit had been sued for allegedly leaking design drawings that they took from their former company, people familiar with the matter said.
Hanwha’s battery equipment business unit currently makes equipment for mixing, electrode, assembly and formation processes as well as for automation and logistics.
It also makes kilns for the production of cathodes used in batteries.
Hanwha has been upping its efforts in electrode equipment, which are used to make positive and negative tabs on batteries.
These equipment include coaters, roll presses and slitters.
Hanwha only offered coaters until last year when it began to offer roll presses and slitters. It started hiring staff for these new ventures.
The recent lawsuit stems from this latest move, the people said.
The employees that were hired by Hanwha had signed contracts that forbids them from working in the same sector.
But there is also a Supreme Court ruling that said such contracts are constitutional as they prevent the freedom to choose jobs.
A source close to the company that filed the lawsuit against its former employees now working at Hanwha said small and medium-sized enterprises made the local battery equipment industry.
It was becoming difficult to secure talent when large conglomerates like Hanwha use their capital to poach talents, they added.
Meanwhile, Hanwha’s president of its battery equipment business unit, Ok Kyung-seak, had recently secured Samsung SDI as a customer and is attempting to win over Northvolt, the people said.
This means Hanwha will continue its push to expand its electrode business and hire more related staff.