COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF LG ELECTRONICS IN PATENT CASE
Seoul, Korea, October 27, 2008 – A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of LG Electronics in a long-standing patent dispute with Whirlpool Corporation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a U.S. District Court decision in a case involving two Whirlpool patents related to clothes washers.
Whirlpool filed this action against LG in the District Court of Michigan, Whirlpool’s home state, after an impeller type washing machine, designed and produced by LG Electronics, was introduced in the U.S. market. Whirlpool demanded a jury trial and sought an award of damages and an order stopping sales of the washer. The decision of the Federal Circuit confirmed the right to market LG's advanced “impeller” washing machine technology in the United States despite Whirlpool’s efforts to remove competing washers from the market through patent infringement litigation.
The appeals court’s final action in LG’s favor on Oct. 10 also marks the conclusion of five years of litigation with Whirlpool related to washing machine technology. Since LG entered the intensely competitive U.S. market for high-end, large-capacity washing machines near 2003, Whirlpool brought several lawsuits against LG. The appeal court’s decision means that LG has now successfully resolved all of those actions. Despite the series of the lawsuits, LG’s advanced front-load (horizontal axis) washing machines and its advanced impeller washing machines are successful products in the United States and around the world.
LG vigorously defended its and its trading partners’ rights to compete in the United States. In 2006, the District Court Chief Judge for the District of Michigan granted summary judgments, declaring that one Whirlpool patent was not infringed and that the other was invalid. To obtain these summary judgments, LG convinced the District Court that its case was so strong that the District Court should enter judgments against Whirlpool, without a jury trial. The Federal Circuit has now affirmed the District Court's decisions.
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About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics, Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications, employing more than 82,000 people working in 114 operations including 82 subsidiaries around the world. With 2007 global sales of USD 44 billion, LG is comprised of four business units - Mobile Communications, Digital Appliance, Digital Display and Digital Media. LG is the world’s leading producer of mobile handsets, flat panel TVs, air conditioners, front-loading washing machines, optical storage products, DVD players and home theater systems. For more information, please visit www.lg.com.
About LG Electronics Digital Appliance Company
LG Electronics Digital Appliance Company is a global leader in the home appliance industry, dedicated to enhancing consumer lifestyles through its stylish and advanced products. The company provides a total package of trend-setting products, including air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, cooking appliances and vacuum cleaners. LG Digital Appliance Company is encouraging technology innovation through products such as the world's first interactive refrigerator and its steam washing machine, as well as building new growth opportunities in built-in kitchen appliances, commercial air conditioners and networked home appliances. In 2007, the company registered US $ 12.6 billion in sales, and currently has over 21,000 employees worldwide.