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Celgard Successful in UK Appeal Court, Keeping Injunction Against Senior UK Battery Separator Imports Through Trial

Celgard® coated and uncoated dry-process microporous membranes are used as separators that are a major component of lithium-ion batteries. Celgard’s battery separator technology is important to the performance of lithium-ion batteries for electric drive vehicles, energy storage systems and other applications.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Following a September 29 appeal hearing, the UK Court of Appeal on October 9 dismissed Senior’s appeal of the UK High Court’s July 30 Judgement, and August 6 Order, granting an injunction through trial in the terms sought by Celgard that blocks Senior’s import of Battery Separators into the UK through trial. In its first decision to consider the EU Trade Secrets Directive and equivalent domestic Regulations, the UK Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the UK High Court to grant an interim injunction under the Regulations to prevent the import of allegedly “infringing goods” into the UK. The Court of Appeal’s dismissal of Senior’s appeal supports the UK High Court’s Judgement in favor of Celgard, which not only granted the injunction against Senior, but also held that Celgard had established an arguable case that Senior had used its trade secrets in developing and manufacturing battery separators and that England was the proper forum for the importation dispute.

Celgard® coated and uncoated dry-process microporous membranes are used as separators that are a major component of lithium-ion batteries. Celgard’s battery separator technology is important to the performance of lithium-ion batteries for electric drive vehicles, energy storage systems and other applications.

Celgard, LLC (Celgard), a subsidiary of Polypore International, LP (Polypore) first obtained an ex parte interim injunction Order against Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co., Ltd. (Senior) on May 7. On July 30, following a full substantive hearing, the UK High Court gave Judgement continuing the injunction and on August 6 made a corresponding Order in the terms sought by Celgard that blocks Senior’s import of Battery Separators into the UK through trial. 

Earlier, on March 2, Celgard filed a Complaint against Defendants Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co. Ltd. (Senior-China), Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co. Ltd. (US) Research Institute (Senior-California), Xiaomin (Steven) Zhang, Sun Town Technology, Inc., Global Venture Development, LLC, and Global Venture Development, Inc. (collectively, Global Venture) (collectively, WDNC Defendants) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (WDNC) for trade secret misappropriation, unfair and deceptive trade practices and unfair competition, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment and conversion. The WDNC Complaint alleges the WDNC Defendants, including a former Celgard employee, Xiaomin (Steven) Zhang, now CTO of Senior-China who changed his name to Bin Wang at the request of Senior-China, purposely and unlawfully misappropriated Celgard’s trade secrets and confidential information and continue to do so. Several other violations of the law are also alleged. See Release.

Additionally, on August 6, Celgard filed a Third Amended Complaint against Defendants including Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co. Ltd. (US) Research Institute (Senior-California), Farasis, and others (collectively, NDCA Defendants) for patent infringement, breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA). The NDCA Third Amended Complaint alleges the NDCA Defendants infringe Celgard’s United States Reissued Patent RE47,520 (the ‘520 patent), formerly United States Patent 6,432,586 (the ‘586 patent), and Celgard’s United States Patent No. 6,692,867 (the ‘867 patent). 

In September 2019, Celgard successfully settled a patent infringement lawsuit against Targray International. See Release. Celgard also successfully settled two suits in June 2019, against MTI Corporation. See Release.

Celgard intends to fully pursue its trade secret case against Senior in the UK and in the US. The UK Court of Appeal win, the UK High Court interim injunction, and the successful outcome of the Targray and MTI cases further solidify the integrity of Celgard’s intellectual property (IP) regarding trade secrets and coated and uncoated separators for lithium-ion batteries. Celgard will continue to prevent the unfair exploitation of its technology and IP to safeguard its assets and customers.

About Celgard and Polypore

Celgard specializes in coated and uncoated dry-process microporous membranes used as separators that are a major component of lithium-ion batteries. Celgard’s battery separator technology is important to the performance of lithium-ion batteries for electric drive vehicles, energy storage systems and other applications.

Celgard, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polypore International, LP, an Asahi Kasei Company.

Polypore is a global company with facilities in nine countries specializing in microporous membranes used in electric and nonelectric vehicles, energy storage systems and specialty applications. Visit www.celgard.com and www.polypore.com.

Polypore International, LP

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