LG Chem filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and a local court in Delaware on April 29, accusing SK Innovation of violating trade secrets.
According to an industry source on April 30, LG Chem filed a lawsuit with the Delaware District Court, which is the location of SK Battery America, the U.S. corporation of SK Innovation's battery business, requesting the ITC to ban the U.S. imports of SK Innovation's cells, packs and samples.
Related to the lawsuit, LG Chem said it filed the suit because it found detailed data on the leakage of a large number of key technologies related to secondary batteries, starting in 2017, when SK Innovation said it would intensively foster its battery business.
"If ITC decides to launch an investigation in May, it will make a preliminary ruling in the first half of next year and make a final ruling in the second half," LG Chem said.
According to LG Chem, 76 workers have moved to SK Innovation in all areas including research and development, production, quality control, purchase and operation of LG Chem's battery business headquarters since 2017.
Among them were a number of key personnel who took part in the next-generation electric vehicle project that LG Chem is working on with a specific automaker, the company said.
LG Chem explained, "We are grasping that SK Innovation is still hiring additional workers of LG Chem, which are feared to leak core technologies."
Meanwhile, SK Innovation said, "LG Chem raised unnecessary issues about a company's legitimate business activities. We have hired experienced workers from both home and abroad for the SK battery business through transparent open recruitment methods."