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U.S. trade panel rejects SK's request for forensic probe

U.S. trade panel rejects SK's request for forensic probe

Sep 29, 2020

Seoul (South Korea), September 29: A U.S. trade panel has rejected SK Innovation Co.'s request for a forensic inspection of its local rival LG Chem Ltd. in their legal dispute over an electric vehicle battery patent.
SK Innovation made the request to the U.S. International Trade Commission earlier this month, claiming that LG Chem sneaked SK Innovation's documents out of its office through a USB drive during LG Chem's forensic inspection of SK Innovation.
On Monday, the commission denied SK Innovation's request, according to LG Chem.
SK Innovation expressed regret that it could not confirm what documents LG Chem sneaked out of SK Innovation as it could not carry out a forensic inspection of LG Chem.
LG Chem dismissed SK Innovation's claim and said there was no problem in its forensic inspection of SK Innovation, which was approved by the U.S. panel.
The latest move came just days after the ITC's Office of Unfair Import Investigations has voiced support for LG Chem's call for sanctions on SK Innovation.
In August, LG Chem filed a motion with the ITC, 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 that SK Innovation's "spoliation was targeted at 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."
However, SK Innovation has dismissed LG Chem's accusations, saying it "has no reason whatsoever to delete documents and it did not delete them."
Last year, LG Chem filed a separate complaint with the U.S. trade panel that SK Innovation misappropriated LG Chem's EV battery trade secrets.
In February, the U.S. 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 late October.
Source: Yonhap News Agency