Whirlpool Corp. said it won a stay motion in a refrigerator patent infringement case brought by LG Electronics due to progress in separate proceedings challenging the validity of LG's patents. Whirlpool said all four of the patents asserted by LG against Whirlpool have been initially rejected as unpatentable on multiple grounds by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in pending reexamination proceedings.
In granting Whirlpool motion for at least the next six months, the United States District Court in Trenton, NJ, commented that, in view of the surprising speed at which the PTO rejected LG's patents, the interests of justice are best served by staying the district court proceedings and allowing the reexaminations to continue. Whirlpool said that, in the event LG's patents do not survive the PTO's reexamination proceedings, LG's patent infringement case will be eventually dismissed.
"We are very pleased with this decision," said Marc Bitzer, president, Whirlpool North America Region. "The decision provides necessary time for the PTO to fully reevaluate LG's patents. We expect LG's patents to be found invalid under the reexamination proceedings."
to Daily News