Korean firm admits stealing Kevlar technology and will pay $360m in fines and restitution

A long-running US trade secrets case has ended with South Korea’s Kolon Industries pleading guilty to criminal charges and agreeing settlement of a civil suit with DuPont of the US. Kolon will pay $85 million (£65 million) in fines to the US; $275 million in criminal restitution to DuPont, as well as undisclosed up-front and ongoing payments to settle the civil case.

Kolon admitted conspiring with two former DuPont employees between 2006 and 2009 to get access to information about how DuPont makes its Kevlar polyparaphenylene terephthalamide fibres. Both men have pleaded guilty; one has been jailed for 18 months, and the other will be sentenced in June 2015.

Kolon has already been banned from marketing and manufacturing its Heracron fibres for 20 years as a result of the dispute.