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Novelis claims Arconic was after its aluminum trade secret

Monday, Dec 11, 2017

  Novelis turned the tables on Arconic in the latter's trade secret lawsuit in federal court, asserting in a Wednesday filing that it is Arconic that is trying to steal Novelis' own intellectual property.

The escalating legal battle centers around Arconic's November 3 suit in the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania that accused Novelis of pilfering its A951 aluminum bonding technology that encourages the use of lighter-weight aluminum in cars and trucks.

New York-based Arconic says the technology was developed several years ago by Alcoa, from whom it split about a year ago, and that Novelis violated confidentiality terms of an August 15, 2012, license agreement iinvolving A951.

Arconic recently asked the court to order Novelis to submit to "limit discovery," a legal term that means Atlanta-based Novelis would be required to provide certain information to Arconic.

In its Wednesday filing, Novelis argued Arconic was not entitled to any such information because "it has not identified any trade secrets as a basis for its claims. Indeed, Arconic's lack of clarity combined with its sudden flurry of early discovery requests strongly suggests that Arconic is in a desperate search for facts to support an unidentified trade secret claim it does not yet have."

Novelis added it has a "justified belief" that Arconic has a more nefarious motive in pursuing the legal action and seeking information from Novelis.

The lawsuit, it alleged, "is a guise for Arconic's attempt to improperly interfere with a multi-year dual supply arrangement to Ford (Motor Co) and for Arconic's attempt to steal Novelis' patent application protecting Novelis' own intellectual property."

Arconic officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

As it turns out, Novelis continued, it was Novelis "which developed the world's first commercial large-scale production line for A951-treated aluminum" at its facility in Oswego, New York. "Arconic's personnel marveled at how Novelis was able to do so with very little help from Arconic because the work required to build the Oswego pre-treatment lines involved extensive aspects that Arconic was unable to provide."'

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