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LG Counter-Sues Whirlpool

Wilmington, Del. — LG Electronics has filed a patent infringement suit against Whirlpool over three refrigerator technologies.

The suit, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, here, charges Whirlpool with “willful and deliberate infringement” for employing its inventions in 11 refrigerator-freezer models sold under the Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air brands.

The patents cover water dispenser, food storage and door gasket designs. LG is demanding a jury trial and is seeking trebled damages.

The suit follows a similar complaint filed by Whirlpool in January with the International Trade Commission (ITC), charging LG with using its proprietary technologies in French door and side-by-side refrigerators. Whirlpool asked the commission to issue an order preventing LG from importing and selling infringing products in the United States, which it said represent the majority of LG’s refrigeration sales here. The matter is currently under investigation by the ITC.

LG is contesting those allegations, and last week asked the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to declare certain Whirlpool and Maytag patents “invalid and/or unenforceable” and to declare that LG products have not and are not infringing on any of these patents. Whirlpool, the company claimed, “pursued allegations of patent infringement against LG in bad faith and for ulterior purposes not proper under the law.”