Whirlpool sues in Eastern Texas on U.S. Patent No. 10,010,820

By Gene Quinn
July 10, 2018

Figure 1 of U.S. Patent No. 10,010,820, which relates to a water filtration system. Patented by Whirlpool Corporation on July 3, 2018.

That didn’t take long! U.S. Patent No. 10,000,000 just issued June 19, 2018, and already a patent in the 10 million series is being enforced. On July 3, 2018, the day the patent issued, Whirlpool Corporation filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Much to the chagrin of patent haters, it is Whirlpool Corporation that has brought a patent infringement lawsuit seeking to enforce U.S. Patent No. 10,010,820, which relates to a water filtration system, against defendant, Space Flex International, LLC.

Worse yet for those who believe in the mythology of patent trolls and other patent monsters, Whirlpool brought this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas. But how is that possible? Isn’t the Eastern District of Texas reserved only for patent trolls and other nefarious actors? There are some who will no doubt believe that operating companies simply never sue in the Eastern District of Texas, but they would be wrong. Indeed, those familiar with Whirlpool’s enforcement strategy know that they regularly utilize the Eastern District of Texas.

In this case, Whirlpool also alleges that the defendant, Space Flex International, a Rancho Cucamonga, CA corporation that has consented to jurisdiction and venue in the Eastern Distirct of Texas, is infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 7,00,894, 8,591,736, and 9,937,451. The complaint filed explains that the ‘894 patent has withstood numerous validity and enforceability challenges. The ‘736 patent has also withstood several validity and enforceability challenges. The ‘451 patent, as well as the ‘820 patent, as you would expect from their relative young age, have not been challenged yet and will see their first action on behalf of Whirlpool in this case.

Whirlpool is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing Space Flex from engaging in infringing activities, a judgment that infringement has been willful, a finding that the case is exceptional, and, of course, they will be looking for their attorneys fees, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest in the event they prevail. A jury trial has been demanded.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and founder of IPWatchdog.com. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and an attorney with Widerman Malek. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Eric Berend July 11, 2018 9:02 am

    The Sport of “Kings”.

    ‘Kings’: Alphabet/Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, the European Union, selected ‘Fortune 100″ corporations

    ‘Lords’: Prof. Lemley, EFF, Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Leahy, Michelle Lee (former), Sen. Schumer, Rep. Issa

    ‘Courtiers’: Business Software Alliance, Wired, Techdirt, ‘K Street’, PatentlyO.com, theHill.com, Slate, TheAtlantic, Vox, NPR, Newegg

    ‘Minions’: Unified Patents, Coalition for Patent Fairness, Main Street Patent Coalition

    ‘Peasants’: Many millions of technorati fearful of the ‘bogeyman’ myth that the “evil patent troll” will hamper their “access” to smart phone and software based ‘free stuff’

    ‘Slaves’: Genuine inventors of any size; in particular: small entity and individual inventors.

    Note: the above lists are exemplary and not by any means comprehensive. Entities named are major representatives and typify members of the described classifications.

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