Corporation today announced that it has filed a second patent
infringement suit against
LG Electronics, Inc., and the South
Korean company's U.S. affiliate,
LG Electronics USA, Inc., for
infringing clothes washer patents.
The latest suit, filed in the
Court for the Western District of Michigan, maintains that a
line of LG clothes washers sold in the U.S. infringes two
patents secured by Whirlpool in 1988 and 2001 to protect
innovative washing technology. Similarly, the first suit, filed
in August, contends that several lines of LG clothes washers
infringe another two patents secured by Whirlpool in 1993.
In both cases, Whirlpool is asking the court to
enjoin LG from infringing the company's patents, to remove the
infringing products from its U.S. product supply chain and to
pay unspecified compensation for damages that already have
occurred from the infringements.
"The people of Whirlpool Corporation work
tirelessly to deliver innovative solutions to our customers to
enhance their lives and to deliver unique benefits that set our
company apart from competitors," said Michael D. Thieneman,
Whirlpool's Executive Vice President and Chief Technology
Officer. "In violating these patents, LG has shown a blatant
disregard for our assets and for U.S. law."
The latest suit involves a patented method of
rolling the clothes in a washer to deliver a better cleaning
performance and improved energy and water savings. (See
actual patent) The suit also
involves a patented method of passing detergent through fabric
to provide better cleaning action without the use of an
The earlier suit involves patents that protect
wash and rinse cycles in high-efficiency clothes washers, which
deliver sharply higher energy and water savings to customers.
The unique wash step provides a series of re-circulating sprays
of concentrated wash liquid onto laundry loads, while the
innovative rinse step performs a tumble motion as re-circulating
rinse sprays remove wash liquids.
Whirlpool's two legal actions follow yet another
suit filed by the company against LG in June 2003 in the same
U.S. Federal Court. In that suit, Whirlpool alleges that the
Korean manufacturer used the Whirlpool registered trademark
"Whisper Quiet" on some of its clothes washers and dryers. The
"Whisper Quiet" trademark appears on the console of Whirlpool's
KitchenAid brand clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers.
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