ERJ staff report (PR)
A US district court ruling ordering Kolon Industries Inc. to pay EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. $920m (€670m) in damages for using its p-aramid fibre trade secrets has been overturned in the US Court of Appeals.
In 2011, Kolon of South Korea was found to have misappropriated confidential information about the production and marketing of Kevlar fibres from former DuPont employees.
The Korean company, which had been marketing p-aramid fibre under the Heracron brand since 2005, was also enjoined by the district court from manufacturing these products for 20 years.
During the seven-week trial, the district court judge disallowed the use of evidence from Kolon that DuPont had disclosed details about its aramid production processes during an earlier court case involving Akzo Nobel.
The Court of Appeal, however, has now found that evidence from the ‘Akzo’ case should have been considered, and ruled that the dispute between DuPont and Kolon be returned to the courts.
Best known for their use in bullet-proof armour, p-aramid fibres also widely applied as reinforcements in tyres and industrial rubber goods.