DuPont Statement on Injunction Against Kolon Industries
WILMINGTON, Del., Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — DuPont issued the following statement after a ruling yesterday by the U.S. Federal Court in Richmond, Va., ordering Kolon Industries to stop producing and selling their Heracron® aramid fiber:
“The injunction, coming on the heels of DuPont’s $920 million damages award from last September, reaffirms what was already clear: that Kolon Industries willfully and maliciously misappropriated DuPont’s proprietary Kevlar® technology,” said Thomas L. Sager, DuPont senior vice president and general counsel. “The trial court ordered Kolon to not produce, market or sell any para-aramid fiber products, worldwide, for 20 years; it also permanently enjoined Kolon from using any of the trade secrets it stole from DuPont. Additionally, Kolon has until Oct. 1 to remove and return DuPont’s trade secrets or face contempt proceedings.
“In so ruling, the court found Kolon’s conduct to be ‘brazen,’ adding that ‘Kolon’s conduct shows a complete disregard for DuPont’s trade secret rights and a disregard for the law that protects such secrets.’ At Kolon, the judge held, misappropriation of DuPont’s trade secrets was ‘a matter of corporate policy.’ A full production injunction is warranted because ‘the Court has no confidence that Kolon could be relied upon to police its own activities.’”
Thomas G. Powell, president of DuPont Protection Technologies, added, “We are pleased that the judge has enforced the protection of our Kevlar® trade secrets. DuPont has devoted more than 40 years and considerable expense to research and refine Kevlar® to make it the world’s most trusted aramid fiber. It is important not only to us but also to our customers that we are able to continue to innovate and invest in our business, our brands and our latest technologies, including our new facility to make Kevlar® near Charleston, S.C. The judge’s order sends a clear message to Kolon and others that they cannot benefit from the theft of our trade secrets.”
DuPont has been engaged in litigation with Kolon for over three years. In January 2012, the trial judge in DuPont’s lawsuit against Kolon for theft of trade secrets denied Kolon’s motions for a new trial and for a reversal or reduction of the jury’s $920 million award.
In addition to today’s injunction ruling, DuPont expects to recover attorneys’ fees spent pursuing Kolon’s theft of the trade secrets DuPont spent decades developing. DuPont is pursuing proceedings to enforce and collect on the judgment.
In 2007, DuPont became concerned about Kolon’s activities and notified the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce. DuPont filed a civil lawsuit against Kolon in 2009 and the jury in the case awarded DuPont $919 million in September 2011. In November, the trial judge ruled that Kolon’s conduct warranted punitive damages at the maximum amount allowable by law. Coupled with the September jury verdict, overall damages against Kolon now total over $920 million, accruing post-judgment interest.
Groundbreaking research by DuPont scientists in the field of liquid crystalline polymer solutions in 1965 formed the basis for the commercial preparation of Kevlar® aramid fiber, best known for its military and law enforcement applications. In addition, Kevlar® is used for many commercial and industrial applications, ranging from tires and fiber optic cables to sports equipment and spacesuits.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.
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