The major electronics manufacturer has accused Beko Deutschland GmbH of copying its steam technology, filing a lawsuit in Mannheim District Court for patent infringement.
According to LG Electronics, Beko has nicked some of its best washing-machine features by copying its TrueSteamTM technology. This feature prevents steam being dispersed in certain wash cycles, protecting your more fragile garments when you whack them in on a delicate spin.
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The tech isn’t used in only washing machines, with LG citing is as a key component of dryers, dishwashers and the company’s Styler device, which refreshes and de-wrinkles your garments.
It’s not clear where LG thinks Beko has copied the function – but this isn’t the first time that there’s been a tussle between the two companies.
Back in September, LG filed a different lawsuit against Arçelik, along with affiliates Beko and Grundig Intermedia, accusing the trio of stealing its freezer door-ice technology.
Apparently, this tech allows companies to build compact ice-makers without taking up too much space in the freezer door, and LG hadn’t permitted the above organisations to use it.
At the time, LG said that it had jumped to legal proceedings as a last resort after informal negotiations lead nowhere. It’s not clear if the company has tried the same tack here, or just jumped straight into the lawsuit action.
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Issuing a statement on the current debacle, Jeon Saeng-gyu, exec VP of the company’s Intellectual Property Center, said: “We provide value to customers through our devotion and commitment to research and development. Protecting our intellectual property is a top priority because innovation should never be taken for granted because this is what separates LG from the competition.”