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LG Innotek wins patent suit against Nidec

LG Innotek, a parts-making unit of LG Group, won a patent suit against Japanese electric motor-maker Nidec Corporation, the company said Thursday.

The ruling came after the Korean parts-maker filed a lawsuit against Nidec in January of last year, alleging the Japanese firm infringed its patents related to optical disk drive. The suit was filed at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court where their production facilities are located. 

The patents that the Japanese firm allegedly infringed are technologies that prevent foreign substances from flowing in the inside of motors.

If Nidec does not appeal within 30 days, the company should compensate LG Innotek for damages and is no longer allowed to produce and sell the related-products.

“The recent ruling has proved the competitiveness of the company’s precise motor technologies,” said Kim Jin-hyun, an executive at LG Innotek’s patent division.

The company would continue to actively protect its intellectual properties not to be wrongly violated, Kim added.

LG Innotek and Nidec Corporation used to vie for the leadership position in the market for motors used in optical disk drive. The struggle ended last year when LG Innotek pulled out of the business on the grounds that the market growth potential is low.

Although the struggle was over, the patent war continued as the precise motor technologies are still related to LG Innotek’s car parts business, which is its new growth engine. The Korean firm mass-produced motors for brakes and steering in 2007 and unveiled motors for transmission in 2014.

In 2013, Nidec Corporation also filed a patent suit against LG Innotek over its spindle motor structure technologies at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. The case is currently on trial at the High People’s Court after LG Innotek won at the first trial and the Japanese firm appealed.

By Shin Ji-hye (