SK Innovation has won a case against LG Chem in which it charged the latter with patent infringement over separators for lithium-ion batteries.
In December, LG Chem filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court insisting that SK stole its patents.
The key affiliate of SK Group was successful in its legal battle against LG Chem, citing a decision by the Korea Intellectual Property Tribunal (KIPO) to nullify LG’s lithium-ion battery separator patent after filing a patent invalidity case late last year.
It is as yet uncertain whether LG Chem will pay royalties to its cross-town rival while confirming it will appeal the ruling.
A lithium-ion battery separator is considered a key part in the production process. As leading Korean chemical and technology companies are investing more in batteries amid government initiatives for eco-friendly electric vehicles, they are increasingly involved in patent disputes.
In a statement, LG Chem said it’s ready to bring the issue to the highest court and added the final decision will come within the next two years.
LG Chem supplies car batteries to top 10 global car makers including General Motors and Renault.
SK Innovation hopes to challenge LG Chem’s current lead in the global market for large-sized lithium-ion batteries.
SK has agreed with German-based car parts supplier Continental to invest several hundred million euros in a joint venture with an aim to develop lithium-ion battery technology for electric vehicles. SK is also eyeing Bosch as a future partner.[source: Korea Times]