Judge Rules For LG In Whirlpool Patent Fight

NEW YORK (AP) -- Appliance and cell phone maker LG Electronics USA Inc. said Monday a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled in its favor in a patent dispute with appliance maker Whirlpool Corp., the latest ruling in several patent disputes between the two companies.

The judge ruled late Friday that Whirlpool's patent for ice storage bins in refrigerator doors is not infringed by any of LG's refrigerators in question. Whirlpool had originally claimed five of its patents covered LG refrigerators but withdrew four of those patents before the trial.

LG said unless it is modified by the International Trade Commission on an appeal, the decision will become the ITC's final decision in about 4 months.

LG has its own patent infringement cases pending against Whirlpool in the U.S. District Court of Delaware. It is seeking monetary damages and an injunction against Whirlpool products it believes are covered by LG's patents. The case is scheduled for trial in March 2010.

On Wednesday, LG filed another lawsuit against Whirlpool's French door refrigerator in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.

LG Electronics USA, in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the U.S. arm of South Korean LG Electronics.

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool could not immediately be reached.

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