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Judge uphelds damages to DuPont from Korean firm

02
Feb '12
A jury verdict to award US$ 919 million to DuPont against a South Korean company has been upheld by a federal judge in Virginia.

Last year, a jury ruled that South Korea-based Kolon Industries Inc. had intentionally and maliciously misused DuPont proprietary information and technology for fibres in its products like Kevlar body armour, and equipment for firefighters, police and the military.

The jury found that Kolon had obtained information about Kevlar by hiring former DuPont employees with access to its trade secrets.

In February 2009, DuPont sued Kolon for stealing confidential information about Kevlar. It alleged that Kolon started making its own version of Kevlar in 2005. DuPont claimed that Kolon acquired its proprietary information from Michael Mitchell, a former DuPont engineer, whom it hired in 2007.

In 2007 itself, FBI raided Mitchell's home and found DuPont documents and other confidential data. Subsequently, Mitchell pleaded guilty and in March 2010, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The jury's verdict was contested by Kolon and it asked for a trial judge to decide on a new trial. However, the Virginia judge has now refused to overturn the earlier jury verdict saying there was enough evidence to support that Kolon had willfully stolen DuPont's trade secrets.

The judge also refused to decrease the amount of damage award saying the amount was not excessive.

DuPont will now ask the trial judge to pass a ruling that would require Kolon to return DuPont technology and to stop using it to make fibres.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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