$919.9 Million Award Is One of the Largest of Its Kind
Wilmington, Del., September 14, 2011 – DuPont today won a civil lawsuit for $919.9 million in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, Va., against Kolon Industries, with the jury finding that Kolon stole trade secrets and confidential information regarding DuPontTM Kevlar® aramid fiber. Kolon, a South Korea-based company, was found liable for misappropriation of trade secrets, and the jury found that its actions were willful and malicious.
“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, senior vice president and general counsel of DuPont. “The size of this award is one of the largest in defense of business processes and technologies. It also sends a message to potential thieves of intellectual property that DuPont will pursue all legal remedies to protect our significant investment in research and development and our proprietary information for the benefit of our shareholders and customers.”
“Companies around the world are facing a significant challenge to protect trade secrets and intellectual property,” said Thomas G. Powell, president, DuPont Protection Technologies. “DuPont, as a market-driven science company, has devoted more than 40 years and considerable investment to researching and refining Kevlar® to make it the world’s most trusted aramid fiber.”
“We are very pleased the jury recognized and protected DuPont’s investment in Kevlar®,” added Powell. “Not only are the technologies and processes of Kevlar® important to DuPont, but also to the thousands of soldiers, law enforcement officers and first responders globally whose lives Kevlar® protects.”
DuPont will ask the trial judge to impose injunctive relief requiring Kolon to return DuPont’s proprietary information and to stop manufacturing and selling products made from that information. DuPont also expects to recover its attorney’s fees from Kolon.
According to Sager, in 2007, DuPont became concerned about Kolon’s activities and notified the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce. DuPont understands that law enforcement’s investigation of Kolon is ongoing.
Groundbreaking research by DuPont scientists in the field of liquid crystalline polymer solutions in 1965 formed the basis for the commercial preparation of the 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 http://www.dupont.com.
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