IP dispute results in lengthy ban for EV battery maker

Freddie Holmes looks at the implications of a landmark lawsuit between two of the industry’s leading battery companies

A lawsuit that has rumbled on for two years has resulted in one supplier being banned from making and selling electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the US for ten years.

The case involves LG Chem and SK Innovation, both of which are headquartered in Seoul and are some of the largest providers of batteries to the EV sector. LGC alleged that SKI had obtained sizeable orders from Ford and Volkswagen in the US by utilising LGC trade secrets. SKI fought and lost the case, and in February was issued a ‘limited exclusion order’ that prohibits it from making and selling EV batteries on US soil for a decade.

SKI is ultimately judged to have stolen intellectual property from LGC for its batteries, but things could have been worse. SKI is allowed to see out existing contracts in the US, so the order will not have an immediate impact on its operations. However, it is a landmark case for the battery sector that highlights the growing competition among suppliers.

Ford F-150
SKI currently has a contract in place to supply the upcoming electric F-150 in the US

The saga…