On January 14, 2022, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Refrigerator Water Filtration Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1290).
By way of background, this investigation is based on a December 15, 2021 complaint filed by LG Electronics Inc. of Korea and LG Electronics Alabama, Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama (collectively, “LG”) alleging violations of section 337 by 29 respondents in China and the U.S. in the unlawful importation/sale of certain refrigerator water filtration devices and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 10,653,984; U.S. Patent No. 10,639,570; and U.S. Patent No. 10,188,972.
According to the complaint, the asserted patents relate to technology that allows for a water filter to be detachably installed into a water purifying apparatus of, for example, a refrigeration device. The accused products are water filters for refrigerators, water filter assemblies and interconnection subassemblies, and water purifying apparatuses and filter structures that the respondents market specifically as after-market replacements for LG LT1000P water filters provided with water filtration systems in certain high-end LG refrigerators. LG is requesting that the Commission issue a general exclusion order or, alternatively, limited exclusion orders and permanent cease-and-desist orders directed to respondents. According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will participate as a party in the investigation. Lastly, Acting Chief ALJ Clark S. Cheney issued a notice indicating that he will preside in the investigation.