By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
WASHINGTON — A United States International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has denied the last of five patent infringement claims by Whirlpool over LG refrigerators. The decision concerned a Whirlpool patent for ice-storage bins mounted in refrigerator doors, and will become final in three months, barring modifications made on appeal. Whirlpool previously withdrew four of its claims prior to trial. LG has filed its own patent infringement cases against Whirlpool in a U.S. District Court in Delaware, seeking monetary damages and an injunction against Whirlpool products that are allegedly covered by LG’s patents. That case is scheduled for trial in March 2010.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Sears will get first crack at Bosch’s new Linea counter-depth, side-by-side refrigerator. The retailer will begin taking pre-orders for the premium fridge between March 15 and April 30 — a first for Sears — and will carry it exclusively from May 1 through June. Linea carries suggested retails of $2,300 to $3,150, although sale pricing will be available, and Sears will run a micro site at sears.com/boschlinea and a sweepstakes to tout it. The launch extends Sears’ Bosch assortment, which already includes dishwashers, cooking products, and laundry. “In 2008 we said we were going to offer more brands and an even greater selection of innovative appliances to our customers, and the Bosch Linea delivers on that promise,” said Doug Moore, appliances president for Sears Holdings.
MAHWAH, N.J. — Sharp has added two models to its Insight Pro microwave drawer oven line that boast a larger, 1.2-cubic-foot cavity while maintaining the same exterior footprint. The 24-inch KB-6524 and 30-inch KB-6525 also feature several new automatic settings for added convenience in microwave cooking, including a “beverage center” that instantly warms and heats liquids such as coffee or water for tea or soup, and a “warm” function for heating syrup for pancakes and dessert sauce for ice cream. The 1000-watt ovens also have a motorized “easy open” mechanism; an angled, front-mounted LCD panel; an open towel handlebar for added convenience; and are available in stainless steel, black or white finishes. Suggested retails range from $900 to $920.
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — hhgregg has opened its fifth Fine Lines luxury appliance store. The upscale boutique, located within an hhgregg location here, features six kitchen vignettes highlighting Electrolux Icon, JennAir, KitchenAid, Sub Zero, Thermador and Wolf premium appliances. Customers can also order Bosch and GE Profile kitchen designs from the location. “We look forward to continuing to serve our Jacksonville patrons with this new location, providing the competitive prices, educated sales force and unique purchase experience that are the hallmarks of hhgregg,” said company chairman/CEO Jerry Throgmartin.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.