MARSHALL – A jury in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas on
March 10 awarded Whirlpool Corp. $7.6 million in damages, ruling that TST Water
LLC infringed on the company’s patent for refrigerator water filters.
"Whirlpool succeeds by innovating, and we protect our
innovations with patents," Brett Dibkey, vice president, Integrated
Business Units, Whirlpool Corp., said in a statement. "We are grateful for
the jury's assistance in enforcing our patents to ensure that we can continue
delivering great products to our consumers."
Whirlpool filed lawsuit against TST Water in September 2015
Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas
that certain water filters manufactured and sold by TST Water infringed
Whirlpool Corp.'s U.S. Patent No. 7,000,894, titled Fluidic Cartridges and End
The jury found that Whirlpool’s patent was valid and that
TST’s Whirlpool refrigerator-compatible water filters infringed on the patent.
TST Water manufacturers refrigerators that are compatible
with Whirlpool’s Filter 3 filters and the products are marked with the ’894
The appliance maker filed a lawsuit against TST Water,
alleging that it infringed on Whirlpool’s filter patent with its replacement water
The Temecula, California-based company distributes its filters
throughout the United States through channels that include home improvement
stores and online stores.
According to court records, the suit alleged that TST Water
committed acts of patent infringement and harmed Whirlpool by offering to sell
or selling infringing products.
According to the suit, TST Water made replacement water
filters compatible with Whirlpool refrigerators. They were offered under the
brand name WaterSentinel and under the label “HDX.”
Moreover, the suit noted that TST Water manufactures replacement
filters that it intended to be compatible with Filter 3. Its purported Filter 3
products include, on information and belief, at least the WSW-5 filter and the
HDX FMW-5. WaterSentinel’s website states that the WSW-5 will fit in place of
Whirlpool “Filter3” filters.
On the company’s WaterSentinel webpage, it noted that WaterSentinel
filters are “guaranteed to fit.”
The HDX also was intended to be compatible with Filter 3, according
to court records.
The suit noted that TST Water would continue to produce and
sell the filters unless enjoined by the court to stop the infringement. Even
after receiving a notice of infringement, the company continued to manufacture
and sell the filters.
The jury also ruled that TST Water failed to prove any
evidence that the Whirlpool’s claims of the ’894 patent were invalid. As a result, the jury found that Whirlpool proved that the
patent was willfully infringed by TST Water.