SK Innovation plans mystery lawsuit against LG Chem

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SK Innovation plans mystery lawsuit against LG Chem

SK Innovation is preparing to countersue LG Chem in response to accusations that it stole trade secrets in the process of recruiting former LG employees in the battery business.

SK Innovation will not say what kind of legal action it is planning to take, but industry insiders expect a libel suit.

“We constantly repeated our stance multiple times that the company will take firm measures if the competitor continues to hold us back,” SK said in a statement Sunday.

It added the company was reacting to the issue with every possible resource to protect its clients, staff and business, “of course including legal action.”

The statement added that specific details on the suit cannot be revealed at the current stage, but assured they are to come out “very soon.”

The warning to its competitor comes after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced plans last Wednesday to launch investigations into whether SK indeed took insider information from LG Chem. This was in response to LG Chem’s complaint filed in April that urged the commission to stop imports of SK Innovation batteries. SK has denied all accusations, saying the claims are groundless.

Local news outlets speculated that SK was preparing a defamation lawsuit targeting the company and its staff, as well as for the negative impact caused on its business. An SK spokesperson, however, denied the reports, saying no such detail had been shared internally.

While LG Chem initiated the case in the United States, SK will hold its legal battle in Korea.

“We don’t see why the company should take a case abroad on an issue that happened in Korea between two domestic firms,” said the spokesperson. “We have global clients and it won’t do any good for our business, nor for our national interests.”

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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