The global headquarters of Whirlpool Corporation is located in Benton Harbor. Courtesy Whirlpool Corporation
A jury has returned a verdict in favor of Whirlpool Corporation in its suit against a company for trademark infringement.
The Benton Harbor-based appliance maker filed a lawsuit against Monroe, North Carolina-based Filters Fast in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in October 2017, according to Whirlpool today.
The suit alleged Filters Fast violated Whirlpool Corporation trademarks, including EveryDrop, Whirlpool, Maytag, PuriClean, Amana, JennAir and KitchenAid.
Court documents argued Filters Fast was referencing Whirlpool Corporation’s brands and using images of genuine Whirlpool products to “sell non-genuine, third-party branded water filters,” Whirlpool said.
Whirlpool said the filters did not meet its "quality standards" and were not certified to remove "as many contaminants" as genuine Whirlpool filters.
The jury awarded Whirlpool $5.8 million after finding “Filters Fast’s marketing practices were willful and were likely to deceive consumers,” according to Whirlpool.
Filters Fast did not respond to requests for comment at press time.
“Whirlpool succeeds by ensuring that our brands are an extension of our promises to those who buy our products,” said Doug Searles, general manager of the Consumer Products Group and WLabs, Whirlpool Corporation.
“We are grateful for the jury’s assistance in helping us keep those promises and at the same time, helping to protect the rights of consumers to make an informed purchasing decision with the confidence they will receive the products and performance that they desire.”
Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) is a global appliance manufacturer with 92,000 employees and 65 manufacturing and technology research centers.
The company markets numerous brands: Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, JennAir, Indesit and other major brand names.
It reported 2018 sales of about $21 billion.
Founded in 2004, Filters Fast is an online retailer of water filtration products.
It sells a variety of products: Brita water pitchers, reusable water bottles, refrigerator water filters, furnace air filters, air purifiers, water filtration systems, shower filters, replacement filters, pool and spa filters and more.