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(LEAD) U.S. ITC default judgment favors LG Chem over SK Innovation in EV battery case

All News 13:55 February 16, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- The U.S International Trade Commission (ITC) has made a preliminary ruling in favor of LG Chem Ltd. over its local rival SK Innovation Co. in their electric vehicle (EV) battery trade secret litigation, officials here said Sunday.

"This preliminary ruling means that the ITC accepted LG Chem's claims and made a default judgment without having additional hearings or investigations," LG Chem said.

In November, LG Chem asked the ITC to make an early decision on the case and recognize that SK Innovation had misappropriated and used its EV battery trade secrets.

LG Chem then claimed that SK Innovation had spoiled evidence on the case and is guilty of civil contempt, saying that its local rival did not follow the ITC's digital forensics orders.

LG Chem had filed a pair of lawsuits with the ITC and a U.S. District Court of Delaware in April, requesting an embargo on importing EV battery-related products from SK Innovation and demanding compensation for the theft of trade secrets.

With the latest decision, the ITC will give its final ruling no later than Oct. 5. Once the ITC makes the ruling, its requested embargo on SK Innovation's EV products will take effect, LG Chem officials said.

LG Chem and SK Innovation have been at loggerheads over EV battery-related trade secrets since last year, filing multiple lawsuits in the United States and South Korea.

Both sides hinted at a settlement following the ITC decision, with LG Chem saying the door to dialogue is open. SK Innovation said although it competes with LG Chem, it also thinks of the rival company as a partner with which it can foster the industry.

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


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