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SK Innovation Dismisses LG Chem's Trade Secret Infringement Claim as ‘Groundless’
LG Chem Claims SK Innovation Intercepted Volkswagen Deal
SK Innovation Dismisses LG Chem's Trade Secret Infringement Claim as ‘Groundless’
  • By Michael Herh
  • May 13, 2019, 14:27
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An LG Chem plant for electric vehicle batteries in Michigan, the United States

SK Innovation dismissed as “groundless” LG Chem's claim that SK Innovation stole its trade secrets to win an order for electric car batteries from Volkswagen.

SK Innovation said on May 12 it would respond sternly to LG Chem’s claim that it lost a multi-billion dollar contract with Volkswagen due to SK Innovation’s infringement upon its trade secrets. LG Chem made such a claim in a petition recently filed with the Delaware District Court in the United States.

“We have successfully landed orders, including the one from a certain customer, based on our technology and global business know-how,” SK Innovation said, referring to the lawsuit filed by LG Chem. “LG Chem’s claim is groundless, and SK Innovation will prove it by responding to it legally."

"We say clearly that we will take all possible measures to address the issues that our rival company raised, hampeings our sound business activities," SK Innovation added.

"We still cannot confirm the truth of foreign media reports in February that a rival company of SK Innovation threatened SK Innovation’s customers to stop providing batteries to them if they continued business deals with SK Innovation. Yet in light of LG Chem’s groundless claims, the reports seem to be true,” SK Innovation said. "If this is true, it is an absurd and ungentlemanly behavior that undermines national interests."

In February, some German news outlets reported that LG Chem requested Volkswagen to stop setting up a joint venture with SK Innovation.

"In particular, LG Chem’s claim that SK Innovation could win the order from Volkswagen thanks to the breach of LG Chem’s trade secrets by its former employees who currently work for SK innovation is an act of serious defamation that disparages not only SK Innovation that won the order via normal business activities but the corporate customer that chose SK Innovation in recognition of its technology and supply capabilities and former LG Chem workers who voluntarily moved to SK Innovation to contribute to the industrial development of Korea.”

In the meantime, the Delaware District Court recently disclosed the complaint filed by LG Chem. In it, the company claimed that SK Innovation’s win in the competition for Volkswagen electric vehicle project in the United States is hampering LG Chem’s business, saying that it lost not only a supply deal worth billions of U.S. dollars with Volkswagen but future corporate customers due to SK Innovation’s infringement upon its trade secrets. As a result, it said, LG Chem’s damage will exceed US$1 billion.