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Conflict Mounting between LG Chem and SK Innovation over EV Batteries
Heads of Two Companies Meet to Resolve Dispute
Conflict Mounting between LG Chem and SK Innovation over EV Batteries
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • September 17, 2019, 09:09
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Heads of LG Chem and SK Innovation have recently met to resolve their disputes over electric vehicle (EV) battery technologies.

LG Chem is set to file lawsuits against SK Innovation with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) for infringing upon its pouch battery technologies. The company is responding to SK Innovation’s recent patent infringement lawsuits against LG Chem and LG Electronics.

In the meantime, LG Chem vice chairman Shin Hak-cheol and SK Innovation president Kim Jun had a closed-door meeting in Seoul on Sept. 16. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy did not join the meeting contrary to previous news reports. According to industry insiders, the meeting was not fruitful with LG Chem demanding an apology and compensation and SK Innovation denying trade secret theft.

LG Chem filed lawsuits in April this year with the USITC and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, claiming that SK Innovation stole its technology by poaching its engineers in a planned and organized way. In response, SK Innovation filed a libel suit against LG Chem in South Korea in June and the patent infringement lawsuits with the USITC and the Delaware District Court on Sep. 3.

Under the circumstances, concerns are rising over the possibility that the companies may lose their leadership in the electric vehicle battery industry. Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt recently declared that it would boost battery supply to European automakers and CATL, the largest electric vehicle battery manufacturer in China, is considering building manufacturing facilities in North America.