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LG holds most patents for washers in US

[THE INVESTOR] South Korean home appliance manufacturers have been ramping up patents to maintain their stronghold in the US washing machine market.

LG Electronics secured more than 230 patents over the past three years to remain No.1 in terms of annual patent registrations, according to the Korean Intellectual Property Office on June 27.

Samsung Electronics’ patent registration more than doubled to 40 during the same period. In terms of patent registration, the firm was in second place, following LG. 

LG Electronics' washing machine `Twin Wash'.
LG Electronics' washing machine `Twin Wash'.

LG Electronics has the largest 25 percent market share in the US drum-type washing machine market.

Samsung Electronics is in second place with more than a 20 percent market share.

LG is ahead of its rivals in the dryer market as well. The patents it registered over the past three years reached over 90, which was more than twice that of Whirlpool’s.

Meanwhile, competition is expected to get fiercer in the home appliance market following a series of M&As.

China’s Haier, for instance, acquired GE’s home appliance division. In 2015, Haier had the sixth largest market share in the US. It is expected to gain a bigger share following the acquisition of GE, which ranked fifth in terms of patent registrations in the US.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)
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