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SK Innovation raided over allegations of trade secret theft

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on Tuesday raided SK Innovation’s headquarters in central Seoul over LG Chem’s accusation that the SK unit stole trade secrets related to developing electric vehicle batteries.

LG Chem had made the accusation in May after filing a complaint in April with the US International Trade Commission and the District Court of Delaware over misappropriation of trade secrets through the hiring of former LG Chem employees.

Police sent officers to SK Innovation’s headquarters in Seoul and its research center in Daejeon to secure evidence of the company’s alleged theft of trade secrets from its local rival LG Chem, according to industry sources. 

LG Chem had demanded an official apology from SK Innovation for such hiring practices and asked for measures to prevent a repeat of the incident as well as an unconfirmed amount of damages.

SK Innovation has refused to accept LG’s demands. The company instead sued LG Chem over patent infringements with the same US institutions earlier this month.

The chief executive officers of LG Chem and SK Innovation, embroiled in the legal dispute over job poaching and patent infringement issues, met Monday at a hotel in Seoul to seek a breakthrough.

By Song Su-hyun (