Electric vehicle battery giant LG Chem is suing SK Innovation in the United States for the alleged theft of trade secrets.
Reuters reports that LG Chem and its American unit have filed a lawsuit against its South Korean peer in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
SK Innovation is being accused of misappropriation of trade secrets by hiring former employees of LG Chem. In the lawsuit, the latter has asked ITC to stop SK’s imports of samples of lithium-ion batteries and infrastructure technology which infringes LG Chem’s trade secrets into the United States.
“This lawsuit is an inevitable measure to protect our core technologies and intellectual property drawn from lengthy research and immense investment,” LG Chem vice president and chief executive Shin Hak Cheol said in a statement.
The world of EV battery production is very competitive
SK Innovation’s electric vehicle battery production is currently limited to South Korea, but it does intend on producing batteries at a mass scale in Hungary and the U.S. in 2020 and 2022 respectively. The company broke ground to its first EV battery plant in the state of Georgia back in March.
In a statement responding to the lawsuit, SK Innovation said its “battery business will grasp the situation and clarify allegations raised by LG Chem through legal procedures.”
The company started mass producing batteries for electric vehicles in 2012 and has supplied the likes of Daimler and Volkswagen.
LG Chem expects the ITC to make its final ruling in the second half of 2020.