Whirlpool Files Second Suit Against LG

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Whirlpool has filed a second infringement suit against LG Electronics, claiming the Korean CE and majap conglomerate violated its patents for a novel clothes-washing tumble technology. The processes involve an agitator-free method of rolling the laundry load and passing detergent through fabric for improved performance.

A previous suit, filed in August, involves the use of re-circulating sprays during the wash and rinse cycles and a tumble motion during the latter.

Whirlpool is asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to make LG pull the allegedly infringing washers off the market and to pay unspecified compensation for damages.

LG denies the allegations and is seeking an award of its attorney's fees in defending itself.

"We believe our competition should engage in fair play through innovation," said LG spokesman Daniel Lee. "Investing in research and development as a form of competition, rather than in lawsuits, is what is in the best interest of consumers."

Lee noted that LG appliances, through their placement at Best Buy and large regional and multi-regional chains, have gained significant U.S. market share within a short period of time.

LG has previously been sued by Fisher & Paykel over alleged patent infringement of the New Zealand supplier's direct-drive design for front-loading washers. That case is still pending.

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