The ongoing dispute between South Korean firms SK Innovation and LG Chem seems set to continue, with the former bringing fresh actions for patent infringement in the US.
SK Innovation’s move follows LG Chem’s filing, in April, of proceedings against SK Innovation in the US courts and with the ITC, which alleged that SK Innovation systematically poached a total of 76 LG Chem employees in order to steal LG Chem’s trade secrets, subsequently breaching LG Chem’s electric vehicle (EV) battery patents when it manufactured EV batteries for Volkswagen. The ITC will arrive at a decision on that matter in 2020.
In the current proceedings, SK Innovation claims that LG Chem infringed its patents when manufacturing and supplying EV batteries to vehicle manufacturers such as Jaguar and Audi.
With global sales of electric cars rising year on year, the outcome of this ongoing battle will have serious financial implications for both parties. Nonetheless, both SK Innovation and LG Chem have indicated that they would be willing to sit down and negotiate a settlement.
A spokesperson for SK Innovation denied any link between its latest filing and LG Chem’s April lawsuits, stating that “The latest patent suit is not related to the previous case filed in April”, adding that it was “ready to resolve the issue through dialogue at any time”.
Currently, SK Innovation commands a 1.7% share of the EV battery market globally, placing it tenth overall. LG Chem, meanwhile, sits in fourth place with a 10.4% share, with the number one slot held by Tesla, Inc.