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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Trade secrets case remanded to district court, defendant settles – $275,000,000 Settlement

Trade secrets case remanded to district court, defendant settles – $275,000,000 Settlement

DuPont accused Kolon, a South Korean company, of stealing trade secrets related to Kevlar. The case proceeded to trial in July 2011, and on Sept. 14, 2011, after a seven-week trial, a U.S. District Court jury in Richmond rendered a verdict finding that Kolon willfully and maliciously stole 149 trade secrets from DuPont. The jury awarded DuPont compensatory damages of $919.9 million.

On Nov. 22, 2011, after further proceedings in which (among other things) the District Court awarded DuPont the statutory maximum of $350,000 in punitive damages, the District Court entered a judgment of $920.25 million.

On April 3, 2014, the 4th Circuit issued an unpublished per curiam opinion vacating the judgment and remanding the case to the District Court for a new trial. The 4th Circuit opined that the District Court had applied an incorrect evidentiary standard in excluding certain evidence that Kolon claimed would show that 42 of DuPont’s technical trade secrets had been disclosed during patent litigation in the 1980s between DuPont and a Dutch company, Akzo Nobel, concerning certain aspects of Kevlar technology.

On remand, the case was re-assigned to Judge Anthony Trenga. Simultaneous to the civil case, the U.S. Attorneys’ office for the Eastern District of Virginia indicted Kolon and five individuals. On April 30, 2015, the parties reached a settlement agreement. Separately, that same day, Kolon entered a plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in which it pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to convert trade secrets. Kolon agreed to pay DuPont $275,000,000 in restitution, in addition to paying a fine of $85,000,000 to the U.S. Government.



Type of action: Trade Secret Misappropriation
Name of case: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company v. Kolon Industries, Inc.
Court: U.S. District Court, Richmond
Case no.: 3:09cv58
Tried before: Jury
Judge: Anthony Trenga
Date resolved: April 30, 2015
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Amount: $275,000,000
Attorneys for plaintiff: Brian C. Riopelle and Rod Satterwhite, Richmond; Michael Songer, Washington
Attorneys for defendant: Jeffrey Randall and Paul Hastings, Palo Alto, California
Plaintiff’s experts: Aaron Stowell, Matthew Levey, Michael Jaffe and John Jarosz
Defendant’s experts: John Ashley, Mark Morgan, Bert Lommerts and Michael Wagner


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