BENTON HARBOR — Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) announced that it won a stay motion in a refrigerator patent infringement case brought by LG Electronics due to progress in separate proceedings challenging the validity of LG’s patents.
All four of the patents asserted by LG against Whirlpool have been initially rejected as unpatentable on multiple grounds by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in pending reexamination proceedings.
In granting Whirlpool Corporation’s motion for at least the next six months, the United States District Court in Trenton, New Jersey, commented that, in view of the surprising speed at which the PTO rejected LG’s patents, the interests of justice are best served by staying the district court proceedings and allowing the reexaminations to continue. In the likely event that LG’s patents do not survive the PTO’s reexamination proceedings, LG’s patent infringement case will be eventually dismissed.
Said Marc Bitzer, president, Whirlpool North America Region: “The decision provides necessary time for the PTO to fully reevaluate LG’s patents. We expect LG’s patents to be found invalid under the reexamination proceedings.”
Whirlpool is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $18 billion in 2010, 71,000 employees, and 66 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at www.whirlpoolcorp.com.