Appeals court lifts ban rival DuPont’s Kevlar
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Appeals court lifts ban on rival to DuPont’s Kevlar

7:04 AM, 27th September 2012
Appeals court lifts ban on rival to DuPont’s Kevlar

WILMINGTON, US: South Korea’s Kolon Industries Inc can continue to make a rival version of DuPont’s Kevlar synthetic fibre used in body armour while it challenges a judge’s order that halted production, an appeals court has ruled, reported Reuters.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, ordered a stay on Friday - pending appeal - of a 20-year injunction that barred Kolon from making and selling Heracron. DuPont won the injunction from US District Judge Robert Payne in Richmond in August.

“This is not a decision on the merits of the case, only a ruling to keep the status quo during the appeal,” said DuPont, in a statement. The company said the ruling did not affect the verdict it won last year.

In September 2011, a federal jury in Richmond ordered Kolon to pay DuPont $919.9 million in damages for stealing 149 trade secrets relating to Kevlar, a high-strength para-aramid fibre used in armour, military helmets, tires and fibre-optic cables.

DuPont had sued Kolon in February 2009, claiming misuse of proprietary information obtained from Michael Mitchell, a 24-year DuPont veteran who left the company in 2006 to start his own fibre business and later began working with Kolon. In 2010, Mitchell pleaded guilty to theft of trade secrets and served most of an 18-month prison term, according to court and prison records.

In its request for a stay, Kolon said it is likely to win an appeal, claiming errors at trial, weaknesses in DuPont’s case and a lack of evidence that Kolon’s activities caused DuPont to lose sales or profit. Appeals Court Judges Dennis Shedd and Andre Davis voted to stay the injunction against Kolon, while Albert Diaz voted against the stay, according to the court order.

© WOC News

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