August 30, 2014

The Battle Continues – LG vs Whirlpool

If you have been following the ongoing series of court debates between LG and Whirlpool, you’ll be aware of the back and forth battles regarding steam dryers and refrigerator patents.

The United States District Court in Chicago this week entered a final judgment in favor of Whirlpool in a case filed by LG Electronics involving Whirlpool’s steam dryer advertising. The court had previously ruled that “Whirlpool has established that its dryers do, in fact, use steam,” and that “LG did not introduce expert testimony or credible evidence of even a single Whirlpool customer, retailer, or trade representative who expressed confusion.”

“We’re very pleased with the Court’s decision,” said Marc Bitzer, president, Whirlpool North America Region. This victory means consumers will continue to have a choice in purchasing their steam laundry appliances.”

While this seems to settle the steam dryer case, the refrigerator patent battles continue. LG originally sued to have Whirlpool fridge patents invalidated; Whirlpool countersued. In March 2010, a jury trial found mostly in favor of Whirlpool and awarded Whirlpool $1,786,925. On July 1, 2011, the court granted a new trial and set a trial date of Sept. 28, 2011.

Whirlpool is seeking a judgment that better validates its patent claims; LG seeks to have the claims of patent violation invalidated and eliminate its liability. Stay tuned…

Whirlpool’s New Latitude French Door Fridge

Ever wonder why a family of four needs seven kinds of juice? Whirlpool brand knows different lifestyles call for different tastes. Now, playing the balancing act with groceries, leftovers and gallons of milk are a thing of the past with the new Whirlpool Latitude French door refrigerator.

The Latitude refrigerator was developed with consumers’ needs in mind, offering 10 percent more space in the refrigeration compartment compared to similar size models while maintaining the same external dimensions. With 27 cu. ft. of capacity, the Latitude refrigerator is expansive, boasting the industry’s most usable interior refrigeration space based on shelf and door bin surface area, including deeper door bins, extra shelf space and an easy-to-access in-door ice maker with removable bucket. The Latitude refrigerator also includes an option to drop the refrigerator and/or freezer temperature to accommodate new food additions, all while garnering an ENERGY STAR qualification.

A recent survey commissioned by Whirlpool Corporation found that 53 percent of adults believe the refrigerator is the appliance that uses the
most energy in their home on a day-to-day basis. However, according to ENERGY STAR, a new ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator saves enough energy to light the average household for more than 4.5 months (when replacing a refrigerator bought before 1990).

“We know that consumers want more room in their refrigerators to help manage the varying tastes of their families. With that in mind, we have designed the Latitude refrigerator to not only hold several jugs of juice and milk in each door bin, but to help make consumers’ daily lives just a little bit easier with smart solutions like an exterior dual pad dispenser with measured fill. It gives consumers the ability to dispense the exact amount of water needed for a recipe or morning coffee,” said Carolyn Torres, Whirlpool refrigeration brand manager. “Even with the added interior space and intuitive features, such as a power outage alert, the Latitude refrigerator helps conserve energy and saves money on utility bills, without sacrificing performance.”

The Latitude refrigerator brings consumers’ kitchens several innovative
features, including dispensing an exact amount of water, measured in cups, liters or ounces with a rotating faucet that allows consumers the ability to fill tall and odd-shaped containers with ease; a power outage alert that notifies consumers that there has been a power outage and the duration so they know whether or not food is safe to eat; and, the Fast Cool option, which immediately drops refrigerator and/or freezer temperatures to accommodate new food.

The Latitude refrigerator is available in white, black, stainless steel and Satina finish with an MSRP starting at $2,599.

Whirlpool’s Eco Kitchen Line

According to the US government, kitchen appliances use the bulk of our household energy consumption. In addressing the need to save energy, Whirlpool has introduced their Eco Line.  The line is designed to be as much as 290 percent more efficient than previous models and includes a Resource Saver refrigerator, Resource Saver dishwasher and Energy Save range.

With energy use equivalent to powering a 60-watt light bulb, the Resource Saver refrigerator exceeds Energy Star standards by 10 percent. To help stretch the dollar even further and better preserve food, the refrigerator’s 6th Sense technology automatically adjusts cooling to bring existing food to the desired temperature in half the time. A Fast Cool button immediately drops the refrigerator and/or freezer temperatures to accommodate new food additions, such as hot leftovers.

The dishwasher uses one-third less water and energy than dishwashers manufactured seven years ago. The savings is the result of greater water pressure to break up more food more efficiently. Synchronized spray arms clean dishes on the upper rack first, followed by the lower rack, resulting in enhanced cleaning performance.

Also in the Eco Kitchen line are two ranges equipped with an Energy Save mode. The feature conserves electricity when the oven is not is use. Similar to a computer’s sleep mode, it dims extra features such as the digital clock and control display.

The dishwasher retails for about $800, the range $700 and the refrigerator, which will be available in March, for about $2,000.