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The action, filed with the ITC in Washington, DC, states that several LG- manufactured refrigerator products imported into the U.S. infringe on five Whirlpool patents. Whirlpool is asking the ITC to issue an order to stop LG from selling and importing products into the U.S. that infringe on its patents. Whirlpool believes that such an order would affect the majority of the refrigerators sold in the U.S. by LG.
The patents protect proprietary technologies associated with the fastest growing segments in refrigeration -- French Door Bottom Mount, Bottom (freezer) Mount, and select Side-by-side refrigerators -- Whirlpool products that deliver innovative features consumers want:
-- Reliable external ice and water dispensing through the door -- Freezer drawer support structure that allows easy organization and compartment access
"Whirlpool invests heavily in developing innovative technologies for all of our businesses -- including refrigeration -- that help differentiate our products and bring meaningful benefits to consumers," said Phil Pejovich, vice president, refrigeration, Whirlpool North America Region (NAR). "To protect these investments, we will vigorously defend our valuable assets from competitors who disregard U.S. law."
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $18 billion, more than 73,000 employees, and more than 70 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at www.whirlpoolcorp.com.
This document contains forward-looking statements that speak only as of this date. Whirlpool disclaims any obligation to update these statements. Forward-looking statements in this document include, but are not limited to, statements regarding expected earnings per share, cash flow, productivity and material and oil-related prices, as well as expectations as to the integration with Maytag Corporation. Many risks, contingencies and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from Whirlpool Corporation's forward-looking statements. Among these factors are: (1) intense competition in the home appliance industry reflecting the impact of both new and established global competitors, including Asian and European, and the strength of trade customers; (2) Whirlpool's ability to continue its strong relationship with Sears Holding Corporation in North America (accounting for approximately 14% of Whirlpool's 2006 consolidated net sales of $18.1 billion) and other significant trade customers, and the ability of these trade customers to maintain or increase market share; (3) Whirlpool's ability to complete the integration of Maytag Corporation on a timely basis and fully realize the anticipated benefits of the merger while remaining within the current cost estimates; (4) demand for Whirlpool's products, including the strength of the U.S. building industry and the level of interest rates; (5) the ability of Whirlpool to achieve its business plans, including productivity improvements, cost control, leveraging of its global operating platform, acceleration of the rate of innovation and realization of cost-based price increases; (6) fluctuations in the cost of key materials (including steel, oil, plastic, resins, copper and zinc) and components and the ability of Whirlpool to offset cost increases; (7) the ability of suppliers of critical parts, components and manufacturing equipment to deliver sufficient quantities to Whirlpool in a timely and cost-effective manner; (8) our ability to attract, develop and retain executives and other qualified employees; (9) changes in market conditions, health care cost trends and regulatory changes that could increase future funding obligations for pension and post retirement benefit plans; (10) the cost of compliance with environmental and health and safety regulations, including regulations in Europe regarding appliance disposal; (11) potential exposure to product liability claims, including claims that may arise through Whirlpool's regular investigations of potential quality issues as part of its ongoing effort to provide quality products to consumers; (12) the impact of labor relations; (13) Whirlpool's ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights; (14) volatility in Whirlpool's effective tax rate; (15) the ability of Whirlpool to manage foreign currency fluctuations; (16) global, political and/or economic uncertainty and disruptions, especially in Whirlpool's significant geographic regions, including uncertainty and disruptions arising from natural disasters, or terrorist attacks; and (17) risks associated with operations outside the United States. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Whirlpool Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K.
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SOURCE: Whirlpool Corporation
CONTACT: Media, Jill Saletta, +1-269-923-7405,
Web site: http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com/