UPDATE : 2019.11.14 THU 14:26
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SK Innovation files compensation suit against LG Chem over breach of contract

SK Innovation Co. said Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit seeking compensation against local rival LG Chem Ltd. in Seoul, upping the ante in their monthslong legal battle over electric vehicle (EV) battery issues.

SK Innovation and its U.S. affiliate SK Battery America Inc. filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court, requesting that LG Chem withdraw its patent lawsuit in the United States and compensate each company 500 million won (US$426,000) for breach of contract.

This composite image shows the headquarters of LG Chem Ltd. (L) and SK Innovation Co. in Seoul. (Yonhap)

SK Innovation claimed that LG Chem's patent lawsuits filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) and the U.S. District Court of Delaware last month included patents that the two sides agreed not to take to the court. In 2014, the two companies signed an agreement, valid for 10 years, that states some EV battery patents can't be a subject of a lawsuit, according to SK Innovation.

LG Chem said patents in its U.S. lawsuits are separate from the ones mentioned in their previous agreement, claiming that SK Innovation misunderstood the patent system and legal rights.

The two South Korean EV battery manufacturers have been at loggerheads for months, filing multiple lawsuits in the United States and South Korea.

In April, LG Chem filed a pair of lawsuits with the USITC and the U.S. District Court of Delaware, requesting an embargo on importing EV battery-related products from SK Innovation, while demanding compensation for the piracy of trade secrets.

In response, SK Innovation filed a suit with the USITC in September, claiming that LG Chem infringed on its patents in lithium-ion batteries, and LG Chem followed with its own patent lawsuits.

SK Innovation also lodged a separate damage suit against LG Chem with a South Korean court in June, saying the latter's suit is hurting its EV battery business.

To resolve the issue, the CEOs from the two sides held a meeting on Sept. 16 but failed to find common ground. (Yonhap)

Kim Do-kyun  edt@koreapost.com

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