Court ruled Min Hee Jin’s plagiarism concern was ‘legitimate’, dismisses HYBE’s stylist fees & trade secrets allegations + HYBE rejects compromise talk

The fallout from Min Hee Jin’s injunction lawsuit win and second press conference continues as the HYBE/ADOR conflict rages on. This time we head back to the injunction ruling from the court for some potential indication on how further legal issues could go, and also HYBE’s response to Min Hee Jin’s so-called olive branch to them.


Well, details of the court ruling are starting to be analyzed, and it was another surprise to me. As part of the reason for granting the injunction, the judgement was surprisingly a lot more of a win for Min Hee Jin than I had assumed.

One attorney explained how the ruling was made despite the judge feeling like Min Hee Jin was being shady, mainly factoring that HYBE had supposedly provoked her.

Attorney Noh Jong-eon commented that while Min Hee-jin’s actions might be seen as betraying HYBE, they were provoked by HYBE’s initial discriminatory treatment and issues with album pushing. He indicated that both sides could be seen as betraying each other, and the court’s decision seemed to reflect this complexity rather than labeling Min Hee-jin’s actions as unilateral betrayal.

Moreover, the court ruled that plagiarism of NewJeans, discrimination against NewJeans, and HYBE’s album pushing were valid concerns.

The court also noted that the various complaints Min Hee-jin raised, such as the plagiarism of NewJeans by ILLIT, discrimination against NewJeans and issues with album pushing, were legitimate concerns. They found that HYBE’s allegations that Min Hee-jin instigated NewJeans’ members’ parents to challenge these issues were not substantiated.

For the plagiarism issue, the attorney explained that the court believed that raising the suspicions was in fact her duty as CEO (I assume to protect IP?), not a reason to be dismissed as CEO. For the mistreatment and album pushing issues, the court ruled that they were “not completely groundless” and so MHJ didn’t intentionally cause harm*.

*Note that these are not opinions on the legitimacy of the allegations as much they are saying that bringing them up as issues was valid and thus wasn’t a reason for dismissal. Hence “concerns” and not validation of any of her allegations.

The court also didn’t think the alleged trade secrets leaked were actually ADOR trade secrets, nor did her actions damage the company. The attorney interpreted this as them viewing it as private matters. The court also rejected that the stylist involved in the receiving fees from advertisers allegation impacted ADOR’s revenue or profit, and thus the lawyer says it didn’t “constitute breach of duty.”


Meanwhile, HYBE reportedly rejects any offer of reconciliation, saying they planned to follow up.

An industry insider familiar with HYBE said, “HYBE has no intention of compromising and plans to resolve this through police investigations or related lawsuits.”


Wow, okay.

So no surprise from HYBE’s point of view, or at least what’s being reported. There’s no reason to doubt that’s their stance, as they basically can’t back down now even if they wanted to due to everything that’s come out since the audit. Allowing Min Hee Jin to remain within HYBE with their approval would likely be seen as a betrayal to the other branches.

That said, I am quite surprised at how thoroughly the court rejected HYBE’s arguments, and thus I did think their position was better after the injunction than what it seems to be in reality. The criminal charges continue to be HYBE’s ideal scenario here, because that would allow them to legally terminate her position and avoid paying both any penalties and her stock options, saving them potentially hundreds of millions. However, it doesn’t help that the court ruled the trade secrets weren’t actually trade secrets and that the stylist wasn’t embezzling money. Unless HYBE is sitting on more evidence for whatever reason, that specific angle is not off to a great start.

As for ADOR’s future, that’s still up in the air. HYBE could simply try to fire her again, and even though they’d face another legal challenge from MHJ’s team, her own lawyers seemed concerned about that being an option. Also, while I’ve seen malicious compliance mentioned a lot in the comments as an alternative option to firing her — due to the ADOR board being HYBE controlled now — unless she’s out of the company, I assume she’d probably try to litigate any tanking of ADOR’s value as well given how much credibility HYBE’s arguments were given by the court. Thus, an awkward stalemate for the time being seems most likely.

Anyway, I was just surprised that the court was dismissive of so many of HYBE’s claims that were made public throughout this saga, including many key points that could impact future rulings in the legal sphere.


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