By Chris Nicholls
MICHIGAN, USA: Whirlpool Corporation today announced it has filed a patent infringement action against LG Electronics and its U.S. and Mexican affiliates regarding certain technologies used on the company’s refrigerators.
The action claims several LG-manufactured refrigerator products imported into the US infringe on five Whirlpool patents. The company has asked the International Trade Commission to order LG to stop selling and importing the products concerned.
Whirlpool said such an order would affect the majority of the refrigerators sold in the US by LG.
The patents relate to proprietary technologies such as the French door bottom mount, bottom (freezer) mount, and select Side-by-side refrigerators.
"Whirlpool invests heavily in developing innovative technologies for all of our businesses – including refrigeration – that help differentiate our products and bring meaningful benefits to consumers," said Whirlpool North America Region refrigeration vice president, Phil Pejovich.
"To protect these investments, we will vigorously defend our valuable assets from competitors who disregard U.S. law."
A spokesperson for Whirlpool Australia said the action would not affect Australia directly, as all patent matters were handled by the overseas parent. She was unable to comment on possible ramifications for Australia if the action succeeded.