Whirlpool Corporation (Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.) 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, for infringing clothes washer patents.
The latest suit, filed in the U.S. District 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 on another two patents secured by Whirlpool in 1993.
In both cases, Whirlpool is asking the court to enjoin LG from infringing on its U.S. product supply chain and to pay unspecified compensation for any damages that have already occurred from the infringements.
The latest suit involves a patent method of rolling the clothes in a washer to deliver better cleaning performance and improved energy and water savings. The suit also involves a patented method of passing detergent through the fabric to provide better cleaning action with the use of an agitator.
Whirlpool's two legal actions follow yet another suit filed by the company against LG in June 2003 in the same federal court. In that suit, Whirlpool alleged that the South Korean manufacturer used the Whirlpool-registered trademark "Whisper Quiet" on some of its clothes washers and dryers.
"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 others," Michael D. Thieneman, Whirlpool's executive vice president and CTO, said in a company statement. "In violating these patents, LG has show a blatant disregard for our assets and for U.S. law."
to Daily News