Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Whirlpool, Swift Green Filters Enter Confidential Agreement

Case Filed: Sep 16, 2011

Case Closed: May 23, 2014

Court: Minnesota District Court

Judge: Ann D. Montgomery

Case Summary:
Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool, manufacturer and marketer of home appliances filed a complaint against Swift Green Filters Ltd. and LLC for violating the company’s patent rights related to refrigerator water filter.

The patents at issue were: US7000894 and US7610932 both entitled ‘Fluidic cartridges and end pieces thereof,’ issued on Feb 21, 2006 and Nov 03, 2009, respectively. The patents are scheduled to expire[i] by Apr 25, 2023 and Dec 01, 2025, respectively.  Whirlpool is the current assignee[ii] of the patents (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database.) The patents relate to the field of fluidic cartridges and end pieces that are capable of actuating one or more valves of an appliance.

As in complaint:
Swift and infringe the ‘894 and ‘932 patents and/or induce or contribute to infringement(s) by its manufacture, use, offer for sale, sale, and/or import of one or more products that infringe the ‘894 and ‘932 patents, including SGF-W71 product.

Whirlpool sought court order barring further infringement and sales of product that infringes the patents, lost profit damages, a reasonable royalty and a finding that the infringement was willful, which would triple the damages.

Confidential Settlement Agreement:
Whirlpool, Swift and have settled the case and reached an agreement following which the parties filed a joint motion of dismissal. The court granted the motion and ordered that all claims and counterclaims asserted in this suit between Whirlpool, Swift Green and are dismissed with prejudice, subject to the terms agreement entitled “Confidential Settlement Agreement.” Each party will bear its own attorneys’ fees and costs incurred. Further terms of the settlement were not disclosed. 
See 0:11-cv-02686 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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