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ITC confirm‎s that SK stole 22 trade secrets from LG

Posted March. 06, 2021 07:13,   

Updated March. 06, 2021 07:13


The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) final statement on the trade secret dispute between LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation was revealed on Friday. The ITC backed LG Energy Solution by saying SK Innovation stole 22 trade secrets for electric vehicle (EV) batteries of LG Energy Solution. The independent agency added that without the stolen trade secrets, SK Innovation would not have been able to develop their EV battery technology less than 10 years.

Regarding the 10-year import ban, the ITC provided an explanation, saying that LG proved that SK’s trade secret theft from LG gave it a leg-up on the competition by 10 years. The ITC also criticized Ford Motor for continuing its business relationship with SK even after learning about the battery maker’s trade secrets theft.

LG and SK reportedly have not made any contact for settlement since the final ruling was issued. LG Energy Solution held a virtual press conference on Friday. “The ITC has been recognized that SK infringed LG’s trade secrets in almost all areas, including development, production, and sales of EV batteries,” LG said. “SK will have to accept the final decision the U.S. ITC made after investigating the case for two years and listening to various stakeholders, and engage in dialogue with a sincere attitude.”

On the other hand, SK Innovation resisted the decision by saying it does not need LG’s trade secrets at all since LG and SK use different methods of battery development and manufacturing, adding the ITC did not provide evidence of the trade-secret theft. SK Innovation also pointed out that the ITC’s decision does not take into consideration the impact of its import ban order on public interests. SK Innovation revealed its plans to actively clarify the problems in the presidential review process and call on President Biden to exercise his veto power over the ITC’s decision.

Do-Young Kwak now@donga.com