SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) — The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said Friday it has delayed the preliminary decision on the battery patent infringement suit between LG Energy Solution Ltd. and SK Innovation Co. to next month.
The U.S. trade panel was due to deliver the initial ruling on the battery patent suit between the South Korean rivals Friday (U.S. time) but postponed the date by two weeks to April 2.
“Additional time will be needed to complete the initial determination, which will require an extension of the target date,” the ITC said in a statement filed Thursday.
The final ruling on the case will also be postponed to Aug. 2, the commission said.
LG Chem Ltd., which wholly owns LG Energy Solution, filed the patent infringement suit in September 2019, claiming its local rival SK Innovation violated four U.S. patents related to its lithium-ion battery technology for electric vehicles. SK also accused LG of infringing upon its EV battery patents in a separate suit filed in the same month.
The battery patent suit stemmed from LG’s trade secret case it brought to the ITC in April 2019 against SK Innovation.
The patent suit ruling will come as the ITC last month sided with LG in the trade secret case and issued a 10-year import ban on SK, while giving temporary permits to batteries and components needed to make products for Ford and Volkswagen in the U.S. in order to allow them to find new partners.
The ruling could jeopardize SK Innovation’s $2.6 billion battery factory currently under construction in Georgia if President Joe Biden does not veto the ruling within 60 days or the two companies do not reach a compromise within the presidential review period.
SK claims it does not need LG’s trade secrets as its development and manufacturing method of EV batteries is different from its rival and received an unfavorable ITC ruling due to destruction of evidence.