Business

DuPont awarded $920m over stolen trade secrets

  • 14 September 2011
  • From the section Business
US soldiers
DuPont's Kevlar body armour technology is used by the US army

A US jury has awarded industrial group DuPont $920m (£583m) in damages from Kolon Industries after ruling the South Korean firm stole its trade secrets.

The case related to the theft of technical details about a fibre DuPont uses to make its Kevlar body armour.

DuPont's lawyer Thomas Sager said Kolon had mounted a "concerted, orchestrated and persistent effort" to steal confidential information.

Kolon has said it will appeal. It is also counter-suing US-based DuPont.

'Billions invested'

DuPont said it would now ask the judge who presided over the seven-week trial to require the South Korean company to stop selling products based on its trade secrets.

It added that it did not know the value of the sales it had lost to Kolon.

"The issue wasn't really the business that we lost," said Tom Powell, head of DuPont's protection technologies business.

"The issue was the billions of dollars we invested in developing it and someone trying to shortcut by stealing our technology."

Kolon is pursuing an anti-competition case against DuPont that is scheduled for trial in March of next year.

It accuses DuPont of requiring its customers to buy 80% to 100% of their Kevlar or equivalent fibres from the company.

DuPont's Kevlar customers include the US army.

In addition to body armour such as bullet proof vests, its Kevlar technology is used to make tyres and fibre-optic cable.

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