LG Chem and SK Innovation reach agreement on electric vehicles

LG Chem and SK Innovation reached an agreement on electric vehicles in the framework of a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC).

At the beginning of the case, related to Section 337 of the US law, LG accused SK Innovation of misappropriation of trade secrets.

Ultimately, the USITC ruled in favor of LG Chem, putting a 10-year ban on SK imports and forcing the latter to pay $ 1.8 billion in cash and royalties to LG.

Section 337 of the Tariffs Act of 1930, prohibits unfair methods of competition or other unfair acts in the importation of products into the United States.

It also prohibits the importation of items that infringe patents, copyrights, processes, trademarks, semiconductor products produced by infringing a protected mask work (for example, integrated circuit designs), or protected design rights.

While the statute has been used to counteract imports of products believed to be produced by unfair competition, monopolistic or anti-competitive practices, in recent years it has been increasingly used for its intellectual property rights enforcement functions.

Under the statute, the importation or sale of an infringing product is illegal only if a United States industry is producing an item covered by the relevant intellectual property right or is in the process of establishing itself.

Unlike other trade remedies, such as anti-dumping or countervailing duties, no demonstration of injury due to import is required for “statutory” IP cases.

LG Chem

Based in South Korea, both companies agreed not to sue the other for the next 10 years.

The deal means SK can finish building a lithium-ion battery plant for electric vehicles in Commerce, Georgia, that will supply batteries to Ford and Volkswagen, two contracts it won before the USITC ruling.

Upon learning of the ruling, Ambassador Katherine Tai said: “After significant engagement with a variety of stakeholders, we are in a stronger position to drive the innovation and growth of clean energy technology envisioned in the US Employment Plan, while also respecting the rights of technology innovators at the heart of business and manufacturing policy.”


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