The Korea Herald


[Exclusive] 'SK took CT scans of LG batteries to prove tech prowess'

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : March 25, 2021 - 16:33

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An SK Innovation engineer holds up pouch-type battery cells. (SK Innovation) An SK Innovation engineer holds up pouch-type battery cells. (SK Innovation)

SK Innovation took a CT scan of LG Energy Solution’s electric vehicle batteries in a potential attempt to use it in its legal dispute with the local rival, industry sources told The Korea Herald.

SK Innovation requested a research facility in South Korea to take CT images of its own batteries and LG Energy Solution’s. This was while their battery trade secret case was ongoing in the US.

“SK Innovation took the images to compare the inner structures of its pouch-type batteries and those made by LG Energy Solution,” the source said.

It was not immediately known what conclusion SK Innovation reached from the comparison, or whether it actually used it to defend itself in court proceedings.

On Feb. 10, the US International Commission delivered a final ruling on the trade secret case and concluded that SK Innovation stole battery trade secrets from LG Energy Solution. SK Innovation acknowledges that it did misappropriate trade secrets from LG Energy Solution, but argues that it didn’t have to use them because its batteries are actually more advanced than those from LG Energy Solution. The company further claims that it’s up to LG Energy Solution to prove exactly which trade secret SK Innovation utilized to manufacture its batteries, if it ever did so.

Industry experts say that SK Innovation’s action could have been an attempt to prove the “technological advancement” of its batteries against LG Energy Solution’s batteries.

“SK Innovation can prove its innocence (of using stolen information) through a full disclosure of documents (and trade secrets) it stole from LG Energy Solution, but it’s not going to do that. Instead, the company is trying to turn things around with a logic that those trade secrets were no good because its batteries were more technologically advanced than LG Energy Solution’s,” said Kim Jung-min, a lawyer who specializes in corporate conflicts regarding trade secrets and intellectual property at Seoul law firm Law Base.

By Kim Byung-wook (