Bloomberg News

Whirlpool Seeks $16.2 Million in Patent Damage Case From LG

September 28, 2011

(Adds background on earlier trial in fifth paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Whirlpool Corp., the world’s largest appliance maker, asked a jury to award it $16.2 million in damages from South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. for infringing a patent for refrigerator icemakers.

LG, based in Seoul, sued Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool in 2008 in federal court in Delaware. Whirlpool countersued, and a jury in March 2010 determined LG infringed Whirlpool’s technology.

Lawyer Scott F. Partridge, representing Whirlpool, told jurors in his opening statement today that contrary to LG’s assertions, the patent is valid because “we provided a specific description” of the invention.

“They think we should just write a check and go home,” although the patent is faulty, LG lawyer J. Michael Jakes said as the trial started.

In the earlier trial, a jury awarded Whirlpool $1.78 million from LG for infringement. Chief U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet questioned the jury’s calculations and ordered a new trial on validity and damages.

Whirlpool fell $2.83 or 5.3 percent to $51.41 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading at 4:02 p.m. LG shares rose 1,500 won to 61,900.

The case is LG Electronics v. Whirlpool Corp., 08CV234, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent, click: 6,082,130.

--Editors: Fred Strasser, Mary Romano

066570 KS C<Equity CN WHR US <Equity> CN

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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