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ITC Delays LG, SK Battery Patent Suit Preliminary Ruling

by Jay Ahon / Mar 19, 2021 05:37 AM EDT
SK Innovation's logo shown on a Smartphone screen.

US International Trade Commission(ITC) said that the initial decision on the lawsuit for battery patent infringement between SK Innovation Co. and LG Energy Solution Ltd. has been delayed and will be released next month, the commission said in a statement on Friday.

The initial ruling was supposed to be delivered by the United States trade panel on the said battery patent suit between the two South Korean rival companies on Friday (US time), but the date was moved for two weeks, on April 2.

ITC said on Thursday that they needed additional time to complete primary determination, which required and extension on the deadline. The commission added that the final ruling would also be moved to August 2.

The battery patent lawsuit started in April 2019, with a trade secret case brought by LG to the ITC against rival SK Innovation. The company LG Chem Ltd., which fully owns the LG Energy Solution, filed the said patent infringement case in 2019 and claiming that SK Innovation had violated the four patents of the United States related to the company's lithium-ion battery technology used for electric vehicles. 

In the same month, SK Innovation also filed a separate lawsuit against LG for allegedly infringing its EV battery patents. The ruling on the said patent suit comes as ITC had sided with LG last month for the trade secrets suit and issued an import ban against SK for ten years while giving permits that are only temporary for batteries and components that are needed in making Ford and Volkswagen in the US to allow them to find other partners.

If the ruling will not be vetoed by US President Joe Biden or if a compromise will not be made between two companies within the said presidential review period, it could jeopardize the company's US $2.6 billion battery factory that is currently constructed in Georgia. 

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