On Sep. 25, LG Electronics Inc. (LG) has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Turkish-based home appliance manufacturer Arçelik A.Ş and its German affiliates Beko Deutschland GmbH and Grundig Intermedia GmbH in The Munich (Ger.) District Court I. The suits center on the unlicensed implementation of LG’s freezer door-ice making technology featured in a number of the companies’ refrigerators sold in Europe. The three companies are all affiliates of Turkey’s Koç Holding A.Ş., whose home appliances are available mainly in Turkey and major European markets.
Legal action became LG’s final option after negotiations with Arçelik A.Ş, Beko Deutschland GmbH’s and Grundig Intermedia GmbH’s parent company, failed to make headway. LG’s freezer door-ice making technology was originally developed by LG for its Side-by-Side refrigerator models and is included in a portfolio of more than 400 patents specifically relating to door-ice making technology. LG’s patented door-ice making technology efficiently utilizes the storage space of the freezer to take up less room than a conventional ice maker and frees up more space for food storage. In June of this year, LG licensed its patented door-ice making technology for French-door refrigerators to Haier-owned GE Appliances.
“We continue to proactively protect our intellectual property and will respond vigorously to the unauthorized use of our patented technologies,” said Jeon Saeng-gyu, executive vice president of LG’s Intellectual Property Center. “As international competition over innovation increases, it is more important than ever that we protect our investments in research and development.”