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U.S. ITC favors SK Innovation in battery patent suit filed by LG Energy Solution


2021-04-07 10:57:57


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in favor of SK Innovation in an electric vehicle battery patent infringement suit filed by rival LG Energy Solution, a setback to the latter that had hoped to take full advantage from its win over the former in a trade secret dispute.

In an initial determination, the ITC said on Wednesday that SK Innovation did not infringe LG Energy Solution’s patents related to EV batteries such as battery separators.

A final ruling is due to out in August.

LG Energy Solution, a spinoff from LG Chem, filed the lawsuit with ITC in September 2019, claiming that SK Innovation infringed its four patents related to EV battery separators, including three U.S. patents and one U.S. patent for cathode materials.

The latest patent infringement case is separate from a dispute between the two over battery trade secrets in which the ITC in its final decision favored LG Energy Solution and gave SK Innovation a 10-year ban on imports, production, and sales of lithium-ion batteries in the U.S.

The ruling gave a big blow to SK Innovation that has been eying the U.S. market for business expansion in the green sector. The company is building two EV battery plants in Georgia in a large-scale investment project that can create many jobs there.

SK Innovation had been struggling to narrow down differences in compensation demanded by LG Energy Solution to resolve their dispute.

The latest ruling that favors SK Innovation may affect its ongoing negotiations with LG Energy Solution over their settlement. LG Energy Solution said that it will monitor and wait for a while until a final decision will be made.

On Thursday, shares of SK Innovation grew 10.27 percent to end at 241,500 won ($213.30) and LG Chem 1.74 percent higher at 819,000 won.



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