By Miles Moore, Senior Washington Reporter
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 22, 2015) — South Korean industrial firm Kolon Industries Inc. has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal DuPont's trade secrets regarding the manufacture of Kevlar.
Kolon entered its guilty plea April 30 before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Judge Anthony J. Trenga sentenced Kolon to pay $85 million in criminal fines and $275 million in restitution to DuPont.
The same day Kolon entered its guilty plea, it entered into a settlement agreement with DuPont resolving all issues in the civil lawsuit DuPont filed against Kolon in February 2009.
The settlement includes up-front and ongoing payments to DuPont, but the terms of the settlement are confidential, DuPont said in a statement.
On April 3 of this year, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond reversed a $920 million jury award to DuPont dating from 2011, on the grounds that the Eastern Virginia court wrongfully excluded Kolon's evidence that some of DuPont's Kevlar patents involving police and military gear were invalid. It remanded the case to the lower court and said the case should be reassigned to another judge.
At the time, one of Kolon's attorneys declared in a Kolon news release that the reversal was a major victory for his client. The same attorney could not be reached for comment on the recent settlement.
Between June 2006 and February 2009, Kolon conspired with former DuPont employees and others to steal DuPont's trade secrets for making Kevlar, according to the statement of facts accompanying the April 30 plea agreement.