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A Better Partnership

Publications

Nov 2014
21
November 21, 2014

Defining Steam Set Stage for Client Victory

Who: Whirlpool Corp.
Industry: Manufacturing
Area of Law: Intellectual Property, Litigation
Results: A favorable judgment for Whirlpool that saved our client $84.5 million.

 

The Case

In 2007, appliance manufacturers Whirlpool Corp. and LG Electronics USA introduced the first steam clothes dryers. Whirlpool unveiled its steam dryer two months before LG, but LG filed a lawsuit that claimed Whirlpool’s dryers didn’t use steam. LG accused Whirlpool of false advertising and claimed Whirlpool’s actions cost LG $84.5 million in lost revenue. Whirlpool is a longtime Warner Norcross client, and made our lawyers part of the trial team that was assembled to fight LG’s claim. After a three-year legal battle that included an 11-day jury trial, the federal court rejected LG’s claim and ruled that Whirlpool’s dryers did, in fact, use real steam. The court ordered LG to pay $410,000 in costs to Whirlpool.

How We Helped

The case hinged on the definition of steam. LG claimed its dryer was the only steam dryer because it injected boiling water into the dryer drum. The Whirlpool dryer injected cool water into the hot, spinning drum. We participated in every aspect of the case, from extensive document collection and production during the preliminary injunction phase of the litigation to the handling of the crucial scientific testimony and key witness testimony for trial.

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