Electric vehicle (EV) battery maker LG Chem said it has sued SK Innovation in the United States for alleged theft of trade secrets.
LG Chem has filed complaints against SK Innovation with the US International Trade Commission and the District Court of Delaware, alleging its rival violated rules on trade secrets.
LG Chem said it has requested the commission to completely ban imports of SK Innovation’s cells, packs and samples of its secondary batteries while seeking compensation from its rival at the district court of Delaware, where SK Innovation’s US battery arm is located.
LG Chem has alleged that it found specific evidence proving key technologies of its electric car batteries were leaked to SK Innovation.
It said SK has poached 76 key employees of LG Chem since 2017 in the areas of research and development, production, quality management and sales. When the employees moved to SK Innovation, they downloaded a combined 1,900 documents of the firm’s key technologies, according to LG.
LG also alleged that when SK Innovation hires experienced employees, it requires applicants to state the name of their former company and provide details on former colleagues’ names as well as the technologies and projects they had been involved in. In the process, LG Chem’s confidential business information had been leaked, it said.
“We had requested SK Innovation to stop recruiting our key personnel who are highly likely to leak the company’s confidential sales and technology information several times, but it didn’t work,” said LG Chem.
SK Innovation said it would “clarify the issues raised by LG Chem through legal procedures,” calling the lawsuit “unnecessary” and saying that its business activities are reasonable.
LG Chem said it expects the ITC’s final ruling on the case in the second half of 2020.