White goods company Fisher and Paykel Appliances Ltd. has launched an intellectual property legal suit against Korean appliance producer and exporter LG Electronics, Inc and LG Electronics USA, Inc., its U.S. subsidiary. Fisher and Paykel claims LG Electronics had infringed patent rights by directly duplicating its SmartDrive washing machine technology. "The SmartDrive technology is protected by patent for a further 10 years -- we have no intention of just standing back when we believe that innovations developed at significant costs to us have been flagrantly copied by a competitor, with no respect to their patented status," John Bongard, Fisher & Paykel managing director, said. Mr. Bongard said the key to Fisher & Paykel Appliances' international success was its superior technologies developed in New Zealand, including SmartDrive, the DishDrawer concept for dishwashers, Active Smart refrigerators, and the recently announced SmartLoad clothes dryer developed for the U.S.
"We hold some 400 international patents on the technology behind various features which motivate customers to choose our brands, and we are resolute about enforcing them," he said.
Fisher and Paykel filed legal papers in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago yesterday. (Asia Pulse)
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