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ITC Judge Rules in Favor of LG Electronics in Whirlpool Refrigerator Patent Case
Monday, October 12, 2009
Washington, DC -- A U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge again denied the final remaining claim by Whirlpool Corporation concerning refrigerator products from LG Electronics.
Judge Theodore R. Essex ruled late Friday that Whirlpool's U.S. Patent No. 6,082,130 for ice storage bins located in refrigerator doors is not infringed by any of the accused LG side-by-side or the LG French door models. This is a complete victory for LG. In addition, Judge Essex found that all of the asserted claims of the '130 patent are invalid. Unless modified by the ITC on an appeal, this decision will become the final decision of the ITC in about four months.
Whirlpool originally claimed that five of its patents covered LG refrigerators. During the course of the case, Whirlpool withdrew four of those patents prior to the trial. On Feb. 26, 2009, Judge Essex ruled that the Whirlpool '130 patent does not cover LG refrigerators. In June, the ITC Commissioners refined the interpretation of the '130 patent and asked the Judge to decide the remaining disputed issues, based on the Commission's interpretation.
Now that Judge Essex has completed his analyses, and after weighing all of the evidence and the ITC's new interpretation of the '130 patent, he has for the second time concluded that LG's refrigerators are not covered by Whirlpool's patents and thus the ITC should not grant any relief to Whirlpool.
After Whirlpool filed the ITC case, LG filed its own patent infringement cases against Whirlpool, now pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. In that consolidated case, LG seeks monetary damages and an injunction against Whirlpool products that it believes are covered by LG's patents. That case is scheduled for trial in March 2010.
On Oct. 7, 2009, LG Electronics filed another lawsuit against Whirlpool's French door refrigerator in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. "LG has a superior technology in French door refrigerators protected by its patents. LG respects the intellectual property (IP) of others, and LG will aggressively enforce its own IP rights against infringement by others," said Young- Ha Lee CEO of LG's Home Appliance Company.
About LG Electronics USA
LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a global force and technology leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative home entertainment products, mobile phones, home appliances and business solutions, all under LG's "Life's Good" marketing theme. For more information, please visit www.LGusa.com.
About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics, Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications, employing more than 82,000 people working in 114 operations including 82 subsidiaries around the world. With annual worldwide revenues exceeding $45 billion, LG Electronics comprises five business units: Home Entertainment, Home Appliance, Air Conditioning, Business Solutions and Mobile Communications. LG is one of the world's leading producers of mobile handsets, flat panel TVs, air conditioners, front-loading washing machines, optical storage products, DVD players and home theater systems. For more information, please visit www.lge.com.
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