DuPont filed a civil trade secrets case in 2009 against Kolon Industries Inc. for conspiring with former employees to steal proprietary information about Kevlar™, the bulletproofing fiber used in body armor products. McGuireWoods served as lead trial counsel for DuPont in civil litigation spanning six years. Meanwhile, in 2012, the U.S. Government filed a criminal case against Kolon – in which the company pleaded guilty in April 2015. In doing so, Kolon agreed to pay $360 million in fines, ending the long-running civil and criminal disputes.
The case is historically significant because of the size of the original verdict, the rulings on a host of key trade secrets and spoliation issues, and the resulting settlement obtained by DuPont. It has also been cited in ongoing efforts by the Obama administration as an example of the need for enhanced federal protection of corporate trade secrets. Awarded the Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Litigation by American Lawyer Media in 2015.