WHIRLPOOL case on two patents against LG ELECTRONICS should be terminated by ITC, Judge rules
eoul, Korea.– The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) should terminate Whirlpool Corporation’s case on two patents asserted against LG Electronics’ advanced freezer drawer features, according to a ruling by ITC Administrative Law Judge Theodore Essex.
After LG obtained evidence that the two patents are invalid, Whirlpool asked the ITC to terminate the case with respect to those patents. While three other Whirlpool patents remain pending at the ITC, termination of the investigation with respect to these two patents is a complete win for LG on its freezer drawer technology. Whirlpool has no rights to appeal Judge Essex’s decision.
These same two Whirlpool freezer drawer patents also are at issue in a corresponding lawsuit in the United States District Court of Delaware. In that case, Whirlpool also has asked the court to dismiss proceedings involving those patents and provided a public copy of its covenant not to further sue LG on those patents.
ITC Judge Essex declined to further investigate whether the Whirlpool freezer drawer patents were improperly asserted, but will permit LG to investigate whether the other patents at issue were improperly asserted. However, LG now faces no damage claims or other remedies that Whirlpool had requested based on the freezer drawer patents.
In April 2008, LG filed two patent lawsuits against Whirlpool in the Federal District Courts. In those proceeding, Whirlpool has asserted counter claims based on certain patents, but has already withdrawn one of those patents.
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