Case Filed: Aug 01, 2014
Origin Case: 3:14-cv-00043
Charlotte, North Carolina-based company, Celgard, LLC, a subsidiary of Polypore International, Inc., a filtration company specializing in microporous membranes filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of North Carolina against LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. (LG) in Jan 2014. The suit concerned LG’s infringement on a U.S patent that in general relates to “separators” used in the construction of high energy rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The district court issued sales ban on LG’s infringing product which LG has appealed.
The patent at issue is: US6432586 entitled ‘Separator for a high energy rechargeable lithium battery,’ issued on Aug 13, 2002 and expiring[i] by Apr 10, 2020. Celgard is the current assignee[ii] of the ‘586 patent (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).
As in Complaint:
The complaint alleged that LG has infringed Celgard's patent by manufacturing, making, using, selling, offering for sale and/or importing lithium-ion battery separators and batteries that fall within the scope of the ‘586 patent. According to Celgard, the lawsuit has been filed following a lengthy period of unsuccessful discussions with LG regarding various business terms of its relationship with Celgard, including infringement of the ‘586 patent.
The complaint said that the defendants have sold and shipped batteries containing infringing battery separators to consumer electronics, laptop, battery pack and/or electric device manufacturers and/or distributors in the United States.
LG’s infringement of the ‘586 patent has been willful and deliberate and thus are entitled to increased damages and attorneys’ fees and costs, according to the complaint.
District Court Order:
LG filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal Jurisdiction and motion to transfer venue. Celgard filed a motion for preliminary injunction and motion for jurisdictional discovery. The court heard oral arguments on these motions in May 2014.
Having considered the motions, the court granted plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction. It was also ordered that defendants are preliminarily enjoined from manufacturing and commercializing any battery, separator, or system that uses or constitutes (i) LG Chem’s SRS technology, (ii) an infringing ceramic-coated separator, or (iii) any rechargeable lithium-ion battery, cell, pack, module, or other device, vehicle, or product that includes an infringing ceramic-coated separator.
LG has now moved for appeal against district court’s order banning LG’s infringing products.
See 2014-1675 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.
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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.