Whirlpool Corp. (Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.) was handed another win in its ongoing legal battle with LG over refrigerator patents.
The United States District Court of Delaware ruled in favor of Whirlpool, affirming and expanding a March 2010 jury decision that certain LG refrigerators infringe Whirlpool Corporation's patented technology.
The court's July 1, 2011 decision affirmed the March 2010 ruling that LG side-by-side refrigerators infringe Whirlpool's patented In-Door-Ice refrigerator technology. The court also expanded this ruling in favor of Whirlpool by finding that LG French door models also infringe Whirlpool's In-Door-Ice technology.
The court also ruled that certain LG refrigerators infringe a second Whirlpool patent on strengthened refrigerator cabinets.
The court ordered a new trial to assess monetary damages against LG related to the July 1 expanded infringement findings and issues related to enforceability of the patents.
Whirlpool said that, after the March 2010 trial, LG modified its refrigerators with the technology. A separate lawsuit is pending in the United States District Court of Delaware in which Whirlpool asserts that the modified LG refrigerators, which remain on the market, also infringe Whirlpool patents. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.
"Today's decision helps protect fair competition by ensuring that competitors do not unlawfully copy our winning consumer solutions," said Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America Region.
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