Maytag Sues Electrolux over Patent
Jul 27, 2004
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Maytag Corp. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against competitor Electrolux Home Products Inc. over the design of plastic washing machine baskets.

The two-count civil lawsuit, filed July 23 in U.S. District Court in Sioux City, IA, U.S. alleges that the Frigidaire division of Electrolux is manufacturing, using, and/or selling products that infringe on two patents assigned to Maytag in 1999.

A patent issued in March 1999 details the design of the basket and one issued in November 1999 explains a one-step, cost-effective method for molding the basket. Patent documents indicate the plastic basket was designed to replace traditional metal baskets, which cost more to manufacture.

Maytag seeks a permanent injunction to prevent Electrolux from using the designs as well as monetary damages plus interest. Maytag spokeswoman Lynne Dragomeier said she couldn't place an amount on the alleged damage.

"We would not comment on that because it is an active litigation," she said. Maytag is seeking a jury trial, according to court documents.

"We have not yet reviewed details of the charges and cannot comment on matters in litigation," said Electrolux spokesman Tony Evans. "However, we are confident that it will be shown that there is no merit to the charge." (Associated Press)

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