LG Chem and Toray Industries filed a patent infringement lawsuit against SK Innovation on Sept. 26 with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC). Toray Industries’ participation in the litigation between LG Chem and SK Innovation is because Toray Industries is a co-owner of the safety reinforced separator (SRS) patent in question.
“Every co-patent owner is required to participate as a plaintiff in a patent lawsuit in the United States and Toray Industries’ participation is just to satisfy the formal requirement,” LG Chem explained, adding, “It is LG Chem that will be in charge of every part of the proceedings and every compensation will belong to LG Chem.”
SK Innovation, in the meantime, announced on Sept. 30 that LG Chem and Toray Industries requested the USITC to ban the import of SK Innovation’s secondary battery cells, modules, packs and related materials to the United States.
Earlier, LG Chem filed patent infringement lawsuits against SK Innovation’s battery business unit in the United States and SK Innovation with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and the USITC. The suits are related to three U.S. patents on the SRS and two U.S. patents on an anode material.
The business alliance of LG Chem and Toray Industries dates to 2015. At that time, LG Chem outsourced the production of the separator as a key secondary battery material to Toray Industries to concentrate on its battery business. Toray Industries has supplied the separator to LG Chem since then.
This is not the first time that the two companies filed a joint lawsuit. They filed an SRS patent infringement suit with the USITC in 2017 against Chinese company Amperex Technology. The two sides reached a settlement early this year and 3 percent of Amperex Technology’s SRS sales in the United States now must be paid in royalties.