Kolon Industries refutes DuPont’s allegation of technology theft

22 March 2010 11:28  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--South Korea’s Kolon Industries is prepared to defend itself against accusations of theft of trade secrets by US producer DuPont, a company spokesperson said on Monday.

In an emailed statement, Kolon Industries’ Ki-Soo Kim said that the company was monitoring DuPont's pending civil lawsuit on the alleged theft of trade secrets and that it used its own proprietary technology to produce aramid fibre.

DuPont has alleged that the South Korean producer illegally obtained trade secrets and confidential information about the US firm’s Kevlar aramid fibre technology.

Kolon Industries will take action to prove that its product does not have any problems with laws that pertain to research and development and manufacturing, Kim said.

Aramid fibre is a chemical fibre that is used in products such as bullet-resistant vests, helmets and tyres.

Kim said that Kolon Industries “produced aramid by [its] own developed technology”.

Michael Mitchell, a former DuPont employee who started working on behalf of Kolon Industries in 2006, was last week sentenced to 18 months in US prison for theft of trade secrets.

Mitchell pleaded guilty to the charge in December 2009.

According to a court filing from DuPont, Kolon’s “attempts to bypass legitimate research and development, and to use DuPont’s confidential information and trade secrets to improve their own production processes, is wrongful”.

The US firm alleged that the marked improvement in Kolon’s product offering in the last three years had been a direct result of the illegal use of its proprietary Kevlar technology, according to court documents.

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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