Federal Court Rules on Oven Racks: Accuride Patents Invalid, SSW Did Not Infringe
Apr 27, 2011
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A federal court of appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling that said appliance oven racks made by SSW Holding Company (SSW) and its subsidiary American Appliance Products (AAP) do not infringe on Accuride International, Inc. patents.

On May 13, 2009, Accuride sued SSW and AAP in federal court claiming that extending oven racks sold by SSW and AAP to the world’s leading appliance makers - Whirlpool, General Electric and Electrolux - infringed two patents held by Accuride. Accuride’s complaint sought treble damages for alleged willful infringement and an order enjoining any future sales of the extending racks accused of infringement.

Judge Percy Anderson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted summary judgment against all claims of patent infringement in the lawsuit.

SSW said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of Judge Anderson, which ruled that no patent infringement took place and that Accuride’s two patents were in fact invalid. The Federal Circuit’s decision also affirms the lower court order for Accuride to pay certain costs to SSW and AAP.

"We are extremely pleased with this favorable decision from the court of appeal regarding the lawsuit brought against SSW and AAP by Accuride," said Paul M. Kara, president and CEO of SSW and AAP. "We firmly believed that our innovative products did not infringe Accuride’s patents and that the Accuride patents were invalid. This decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals further substantiates that conclusion. The willingness of SSW and AAP to defend our products and customers stems from that conviction. It is now time for us and the industry to concentrate on bringing new and improved products to market and put this litigation behind us."

SSW is a supplier to major residential and commercial appliance OEMs, including refrigeration, cooking, laundry, and HVAC applications.

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