The
future
is electric*
*But only if we protect trade secrets.

ENGINEERING A CARBON-FREE TOMORROW HAS BEEN DECADES IN THE MAKING

Most plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries. After investing billions of dollars in research and development, no one makes these batteries better than LG Energy Solution, whose Li-Ion technology powers much of America’s electric vehicle market.

But not all battery makers spent decades developing proprietary technology.

Some, like SK Innovation, simply stole it.

TRADE SECRET PROTECTION IS THE ENGINE OF THE GREEN ECONOMY

In April 2019, LG Chem, from which LG Energy Solution was later spun off, filed a pair of federal lawsuits against South Korean-based SK Innovation for misappropriation of trade secrets at the US International Trade Commission and the United States District Court of Delaware.

After a trial and an exhaustive two-year investigation, the US ITC ruled in February 2021 that SK Innovation had stolen LG Energy Solution's proprietary trade secrets and destroyed evidence to conceal that theft. The agency, whose mandate is to protect innovators from unfair trade practices, issued a ten-year exclusion order blocking the importation, domestic production, and sale of SK batteries that unlawfully relies on stolen technology.

Crucially, however, the ITC provided a four-year term in which SK Innovation can still produce batteries at its Georgia manufacturing facility. That exception ensures no interruption in America's electric vehicle market and provides times for the two companies to settle the dispute.

The decision is now subject to a 60-day review by President Joe Biden. Some have urged the president to veto the decision because of jobs SK has promised it would create in the manufacturing of its batteries. But that would set a dangerous precedent that would chill innovation in virtually every sector.

Bipartisan Voices for Defending Trade Secrets

“As with any company, LG Chem’s success and investments in Ohio and throughout the United States are predicated on fair trade and competition and the protection of their trade secrets. We know the Commission appreciates the importance of trade secret protection and Congress’ intent behind the 2016 passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act”

US Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown

“LG Chem has made significant economic investments across the Midwest and has committed to invest even more, including over a billion dollars, a new factory, and thousands of jobs in Ohio, alone. Investments, such as these, could be threatened or chilled if the Commission does not remedy SKI’s unfair competition. ... LG Chem has made significant economic investments across the Midwest and has committed to invest even more, including over a billion dollars, a new factory, and thousands of jobs in Ohio, alone. Investments, such as these, could be threatened or chilled if the Commission does not remedy SKI’s unfair competition.”

Governor Mike DeWine

"If the Commission ignores SKI’s misconduct, it will cause significant and irreparable harm to Michigan and communities across the Midwest. LG Chem has spent significant time and effort to develop its valuable trade secrets. It has relied on those trade secrets to create countless U.S. jobs, through several facilities in the manufacturing hub of the United States. All of this could be jeopardized if the Commission allows SKI’s misappropriation to go unnoticed. The lack of action by the Commission could 'chill' future investments from LG Chem and others, as countless foreign companies may find that it is easier to steal trade secrets of others (with no repercussions), than to invest in their own new technologies."

Congressman Fred Upton

A long history of innovating and investing in America

2019

LG Energy Solution enters into joint venture with General Motors to build a new $2.3 billion manufacturing facility to mass-produce battery cells. The facility will employ 1,100 Ohioans.

2012

LG Energy Solution finishes the construction of its new LGES factory in Holland, Michigan, which employs hundreds.

2010

July: LG Energy Solution begins the construction of its new factory in Holland, Michigan
July: LGES begins supplying Ford FOCUS batteries
April: LGES begins supplying Volvo batteries
January: LGES begins supplying Eaton batteries for commercial vehicles

2009

January: LGES begins supplying GM Volt batteries

2007

LGES becomes the first company in the world to mass-produce NCM batteries

2004

August: LGES takes on battery technology development project for the United States Advanced Battery Consortium

2000

LGES begins it EV battery development, establishing a research facility in the US

2000

TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE REQUIRES INNOVATION

And innovation must be protected.

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