LG Chem Sued for Using Patent-Protected Processes in Batteries

Plaintiffs Molecular Rebar Design, LLC (MRD) and Black Diamond Structures, LLC (BDS) filed suit on Monday in the District of Delaware against defendants LG Chem, Ltd., LG Energy Solution, Ltd., LG Energy Solution Michigan, Inc., and LG Electronics, Inc. (collectively, LG Chem). The complaint for patent infringement alleges that LG Chem uses processes that have been patent-protected by the plaintiff in their batteries.

According to the complaint, Molecular Rebar Design was founded in 2012 after its founders recognized that “there was a significant gap between the theoretical performance of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their commercial viability because of their poor dispersibility.” They say they have aimed to close this gap in a unique way by producing CNTs that have been specialized and individualized through patent-protected processes. Both of the plaintiffs work together to manufacture and market the specialized CNTs that are marketed as MOLECULAR REBAR technology.

The three patents-in-suit are titled “High Performance Energy Storage and Collection Devices Containing Exfoliated Microtubules and Spatially Controlled Attached Nanoscale Particles and Layers,” “Dispersions Comprising Discrete Carbon Nanotube Fibers,” and “Binders, Electrolytes and Separator Films for Energy Storage and Collection Devices Using Discrete Carbon.”

The defendant’s allegedly infringing products are their HG2, HG6, and MJ1 batteries. The complaint contends that LG Chem is aware of the plaintiff’s patents and the acts they have committed that infringe on those patents. Specifically, LG Chem markets battery technologies for electric vehicle and consumer electronic products that use processes involving the plaintiff’s patent-protected MOLECULAR REBAR technology. The defendants have extensive involvement in the U.S. markets, and millions of their batteries are used in the products of prominent companies like General Motors and Chrysler.

The complaint cites three separate counts of infringement. The plaintiffs are seeking favorable judgment of willful infringement on each count, damages in an amount adequate to compensate for the infringement, enhanced damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, compulsory future royalties in the event that permanent injunctive relief is not granted, an injunction preventing further infringement, and any other relief deemed appropriate by the Court.

The plaintiffs are represented in the litigation by Farnan LLP and Jackson Walker LLP.