LG Electronics has been hit with a $1.8 million dollar fine after a US Court found that they had infringed on a Whirlpool patent for an in-door ice maker and awarded the appliance manufacturer $1.8 million in damages.A charge relating to a water cooler was thrown out by the Court.The jury’s findings contradict those of the International Trade Commission (ITC), which last month dismissed the last of Whirlpool’s charges of ice-maker patent infringement that had been brought before that body.
According to TWICE both cases involved the manufacture and sale of side-by-side refrigerators by LG that allegedly infringe Whirlpool’s Patent 6,082,130 for an in-the-door ice system. Whirlpool said it will seek a permanent injunction against LG based on the jury verdict after the final judgment is handed down.
“We are pleased that the Delaware jury has acknowledged our intellectual property rights, and that it has issued this verdict to help protect our company’s investments in technology from those who would unfairly use our innovations for their own benefit,” said Greg Miller, refrigeration general manager, Whirlpool North America Region (NAR).
Whirlpool also said it provided the jury with “compelling evidence” that it invented the water-dispenser technology claimed by LG, and has initiated an interference proceeding that seeks priority over LG’s asserted patent based on Whirlpool’s earlier invention date.