The Korea Times reports that SK Innovation has won a patent suit against LG Chem over separators for Li-ion batteries.
In December, LG Chem filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court insisting that SK stole its patents. SK countersued, according to officials from the companies.
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.
SK Innovation hopes to challenge LG Chem's current lead in the global market for large-sized lithium-ion batteries although it was late arriving in the lucrative and growing market.
LG Chem supplies car batteries to top 10 global car makers including General Motors and Renault. It has already opened a battery manufacturing plant in the United States and plans to build another facility in Europe.
SK Innovation is seeking to steal some of LG Chem's share by forming international alliances. For SK, it is looking to batteries to offset falling profits from its petrochemical business amid heated competition in China and fluctuating oil prices.
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. The company is also eyeing Bosch as a future partner.
It is as yet uncertain whether LG Chem will pay royalties to its cross-town rival while confirming it will appeal the ruling.
SK won a similar case against Japanese company Tonen in a similar case.
Source: Korea Times and SK Innovation