WASHINGTON — The International Trade Commission (ITC) has dismissed the last of Whirlpool’s patent- infringement charges against LG in a two-year-old case involving ice-compartment technology.
Whirlpool accused LG of violating its patents for ice storage bins within the doors of side-by-side and bottommount refrigerators. The ITC had previously ruled all but one of the charges invalid, and earlier this month ITC Judge Theodore Essex found that the final patent claim did not cover LG’s products, and terminated the investigation.
Whirlpool has not indicated whether it will appeal the decision. The company lost an appeal in 2008 over a separate patent infringement suit against LG, which involved the use of impellertype washer drums.
Meanwhile, LG has counter-suits pending in two federal courts that charge Whirlpool with infringing its own patents, and which seek injunctions and monetary damages.
“The final ITC decision reaffirms our leadership in refrigerator technology,” said Y.H. Lee, president/CEO of the LG Electronics Home Appliance Company.
James Shad, president of LG Electronics USA, added that “The ITC’s final determination, which eliminates a threat by a competitor to block imports of LG refrigerators, is welcome news for LG customers.”