A federal appeals court says DuPont Co. must defend itself against claims that it has monopolized the market for high-strength synthetic fibers used in products such as Kevlar body armor. A three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit court ruled late last week that a federal judge erred in dismissing a counterclaim filed in a trade secrets lawsuit that DuPont brought against Korean competitor Kolon Industries.The appeals court said Kolon had plausibly alleged monopolization and attempted monopolization by DuPont. Last year, former DuPont employee Michael Mitchell was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to theft of trade secrets and obstruction of justice. Mitchell left DuPont in early 2006 and formed his own aramid fiber consulting business. He was accused of sending an e-mail with DuPont proprietary information to Kolon.