LG Chem requested an import ban with regard to SK Innovation’s battery pack in the Kia Niro. Kia Motors is likely to be affected by the patent infringement lawsuit LG Chem recently filed with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC).
The USITC initiated its investigation for the lawsuit against SK Innovation on Oct. 30. SK Innovation’s battery cells, modules, packs, materials and components subject to the request related to the litigation include battery packs for use in the Kia Niro electric vehicle (EV).
This means another factor of instability in terms of supply for Kia Motors with EV battery supply already tight. Earlier, the automaker announced that its Soul EV would make its U.S. debut in 2021 instead of next year due to an undersupply of batteries.
At present, continuous disputes between South Korean EV battery suppliers are leading to more fatigue on the part of automakers as they must submit more data. In August this year, SK Innovation filed a patent infringement lawsuit with the USITC, claiming that LG Chem obtained illegal profits by supplying batteries for the Chevrolet Bolt EV based on infringed patents. EV battery supply from LG Chem to GM can be stopped if SK Innovation’s injunctive relief request is accepted.