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Whirlpool, LG Settle Refrigerator Patent Lawsuits

Whirlpool Corp., the world’s largest appliance maker, and LG Electronics Inc. (066570) agreed to settle patent-infringement cases over refrigerator icemakers for an undisclosed amount.

The settlement resolves three patent lawsuits filed in federal courts in New Jersey and Delaware, Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool and Seoul-based LG said today in a statement.

“This agreement, which concludes years of patent litigation between LG and Whirlpool, will result in the dismissal” of the cases, the companies said.

A Delaware jury found in 2010 that LG infringed a Whirlpool icemaker patent and awarded $1.78 million in damages. U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet in Wilmington questioned the jury’s calculations and ordered a new trial. Whirlpool had sought more than $22 million in damages.

Last year, Whirlpool said it won a six-month stay of patent litigation over refrigerator technology while it challenged the validity of LG’s patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Whirlpool fell 25 cents to $83.23 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading at 2:27 p.m. LG dropped 300 won to 69,000 won in Seoul.

One case resolved by the settlement is LG Electronics v. Whirlpool Corp. (WHR), 08-cv-234, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware at jfeeley@bloomberg.net

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

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