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Novelis claims Arconic was after its aluminum trade secret

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

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

New York-based Arconic says the technology was developed several years ago byAlcoa, from whom it split about a year ago, and that Novelis violatedconfidentiality terms of an August 15, 2012, license agreement iinvolvingA951.

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

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

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

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

Arconic officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

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

--Bob Matyi, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@spglobal.com