SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Innovation Co., a South Korean manufacturer of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, denied Friday that it destroyed documents related to an EV battery patent case in the latest tit-for-tat ahead of a crucial verdict in the United States.
SK Innovation claimed it developed the 994 patent, while LG Chem Ltd. asserted its A7 battery cell is prior art to the 994 patent. A7 battery cells were used in the Chrysler Pacifica minivan in 2013.
Last month, LG Chem filed a motion with a U.S. trade panel, seeking the issuance of an order sanctioning SK Innovation for the “destruction of highly relevant evidence” after its litigation against SK Innovation began.
LG Chem said in the motion filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission that SK Innovation’s “spoliation was targeted to the destruction of relevant LG Chem information” in SK Innovation’s possession.
LG Chem also claimed SK Innovation employees were repeatedly instructed to “delete every material related to the rival company … and delete this email after completing this directive.”
On Friday, SK Innovation dismissed LG Chem’s accusations, saying it “has no reason whatsoever to delete documents and it did not delete them.”
In September last year, SK Innovation brought its own litigation against LG Chem asserting the 994 patent.
LG Chem and SK Innovation have been at loggerheads over EV battery-related trade secrets since last year, filing multiple lawsuits in the United States and South Korea.
Last year, LG Chem filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission that SK Innovation misappropriated LG Chem’s EV battery trade secrets.
In February, the U.S. International Trade Commission made a preliminary ruling in favor of LG Chem’s argument that SK Innovation had misappropriated and used its EV battery trade secrets.
The U.S. trade panel is set to give its final ruling on the case in October.