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Business

Aramid Patent Case Continues

by Marc S. Reisch
September 10, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 37

Aramid fiber makers DuPont and Kolon Industries can each claim a new victory in a three-year-old patent dispute. A year ago, DuPont prevailed in a trial that concluded with a federal jury in Richmond, Va., ordering its South Korean rival to pay $920 million for stealing aramid fiber trade secrets. Then late last month, DuPont won a court injunction ordering Kolon not to produce, market, or sell aramid fibers worldwide for 20 years. In his Aug. 30 order, Judge Robert E. Payne, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, wrote that DuPont “will suffer significant hardship by virtue of the loss of the trade secrets which the jury found had been willfully and maliciously misappropriated by Kolon.” The South Korean firm immediately appealed the injunction, saying it would cause “the uncompensated death” of its aramid business. A day later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit put the injunction on hold. That court is also considering Kolon’s appeal of the judgment that DuPont won last year.

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