LG Electronics has requested an Italian court to nullify two patents held by Germany’s compressor manufacturer Secop, claiming that such technologies are no longer subject to legal protection as they are widely used throughout the industry.
LG said Sunday in a statement that it filed the suit against Secop with the Torino Court in response to a claim by the German company that the South Korean electronics giant had infringed its patents.
In July, Secop sent a letter of complaint to LG Electronics saying that it had infringed two of its patents. It also requested the company to stop producing or selling small compressors.
The disputed patents are the structural designs of mufflers for reducing noise and vibration on compressor discharge lines, and a vacuum tube link that rivets refrigeration pipes. Secop is manufacturer of small compressors used for small fridges and water purifiers.
LG believes that Secop’s accusations of patent infringement are intended to disrupt its business in Europe. LG had previously announced that it would expand its market presence in the components sector for home appliances.
“It is hard to say whether the two (technologies) require a legal protection as they are widely used in the industry. The United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected Secop’s request to register the two cases as patents in 2012 and this year,” said LG Electronics spokesman Shin Sung-jin.
LG filed the lawsuit in Italy first because it is the biggest market for electronic components in Europe. If the lawsuit is won there, it will have a considerable impact, the spokesman said.
Patent issues in Europe are controlled by the European Patent Office, but patent litigations are handled by local courts in the respective countries. LG will consider filing the suit in other countries in Europe, the spokesman added.
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