RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 16, 2011) — A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has awarded DuPont Co. $919.9 million in its Kevlar aramid fiber trade secrets lawsuit against South Korean firm Kolon Industries Inc.
DuPont said it will ask the court for a permanent injunction ordering Kolon to stop making aramid fiber. The Wilmington, Del.-based chemical and polymer giant filed suit in February 2009, claiming Kolon used confidential information on the manufacture of Kevlar aramid fiber it had received from Michael Mitchell, a former DuPont employee turned industry consultant.
“Today's jury decision is an enormous victory for global intellectual property protection and the millions of users of DuPont Kevlar technology and products,” said Thomas L. Sager, DuPont senior vice president and general counsel, in a Sept. 14 statement.
In its own statement the same day, Kolon said it will appeal the verdict.
“Today's verdict is the result of a multi-year campaign by DuPont aimed at forcing Kolon out of the aramid fiber business,” the company said. “Kolon had no need for and did not solicit any trade secrets or proprietary information of DuPont, and had no reason to believe that the consultants it engaged were providing such information. Indeed, many of the 'secrets' alleged in this case are public knowledge.”
Among the uses for aramid fiber is as a tire reinforcement material.