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Federal appeals court overturns $920M award to DuPont in Kevlar trade secrets case

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DOVER, Delaware — A federal appeals court has overturned a jury decision awarding $920 million in damages to the DuPont Co. in a trade-secrets lawsuit involving high-strength synthetic fibers used in products such as Kevlar body armor.

The appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, said Thursday that a trial judge abused his discretion and prejudiced South Korea-based Kolon Industries in 2011 when he granted a pretrial motion by DuPont. The court said that in doing so, the judge excluded evidence material to Kolon's defense.

The jury later found that Kolon had misappropriated 149 DuPont trade secrets involving aramid fiber technology.

The appeals court sent the case back to district court in Virginia for further proceedings under a different trial judge.

DuPont said in a statement that it was disappointed by the appeals court decision.

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