A US District Court ruling on a patent infringement case against LG Electronics which was originally brought by Whirlpool has expanded the scope of the lawsuit and requested a new trial to assess further damages. LG has refused to comment on the development, but Whirlpool stated that a US District Court affirmed the decision in a 2010 trial that LG refrigerators which feature in-door ice-makers infringed on a Whirlpool patent for “In-Door-Ice” technology.
The court expanded the ruling to include some LG French door models of refrigerator which infringe on a second Whirlpool patent for enforced refrigerator cabinets. Due to this expansion in the scope of the suit, a new trial was ordered which anticipates more monetary damages to be assessed against LG. Whirlpool has filed a separate complaint with the ITC against both Samsung and LG for dumping expensive refrigerators on the domestic market.
Whirlpool is a Fortune 500 company that manufactures and markets major home appliances throughout the world. While LG is a conglomerate company that produces telecommunications products, chemicals and electronic goods.
Whirlpool is expected to benefit from the outcome of the expanded patent lawsuit against LG in several ways. The most obvious will be via increased monetary damages assessed to LG and payable to Whirlpool for the patent infringement of its French door refrigerator models. Whirlpool had won $1.8 million in payments for damages from LG in the original lawsuit, and the new damages are likely to be significantly higher.
The outcome of the original trial in 2010 led LG to modify its refrigerator designs, but Whirlpool has claimed that these new models were not changed enough and that they are still in violation of its patents. The company has filed a new patent infringement case against LG over this matter, but a trial date has yet to be set in the new lawsuit.