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LG Chem, SK Innovation fail to make compromise over EV battery lawsuits

All News 13:48 September 16, 2019

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- The chief executives of LG Chem Ltd. and SK Innovation Co. -- two South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery makers -- met Monday to make a breakthrough in their legal battles over EV battery patents but apparently failed to find common ground.

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol met with SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun in Seoul to discuss legal issues between the two sides, the companies said. Their face-to-face meeting was arranged with help from the country's commerce ministry.

"Shin and Kim met and shared their opinions," a LG Chem spokesman said. "The two CEOs had a sincere conversation, but we can't reveal details of what they talked about."

Industry sources said that the two sides failed to make a change in the status quo of their legal battles, though it's still meaningful that they've managed to meet over the issue.

"We think that the meeting itself was meaningful," a SK Innovation spokesman said. "We'll keep trying to solve the issue with dialogue while doing our best in court."

LG Chem and SK Innovation have been at loggerheads in recent months over EV battery-related patent lawsuits.

In April, LG Chem filed a pair of lawsuits with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) and the U.S. District Court of Delaware, requesting an embargo on importing EV battery-related products from SK Innovation, while demanding compensation for the piracy of trade secrets.

In response, SK Innovation filed a suit with the USITC this month, claiming that LG Chem infringed on its patents in lithium-ion batteries. SK Innovation also lodged a damage suit against LG Chem with a South Korean court in June, saying the latter's suit is hurting its EV battery business.

SK Innovation said earlier that it is willing to discuss the matter with LG Chem out of court and settle the problem. LG Chem has been responding that it can accept the dialogue offer should SK Innovation come up with a sincere apology and a compensation plan.

This composite image shows the headquarters of LG Chem Inc. (L) and SK Innovation Co. in Seoul. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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