The Korea Intellectual Property Office said on Aug. 26 that its analysis of U.S. patent applications related to washing machines and refrigerators has found that Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics excel their competitors.
From 2011 to 2020, LG Electronics applied for the largest number of patents in the U.S. with 1,102 applications in the washing machine sector. Samsung Electronics and WINIA Electronics came in fourth and sixth with 493 and 184 applications, respectively. During the same period, LG Electronics topped the list with 764 applications for refrigerator patents. Samsung Electronics ranked second with 355 applications
Analysts say that Korean companies’ technology development for the past 10 years led to their high market shares. Samsung Electronics (21 percent) and LG Electronics (19 percent) ranked first and second in the U.S. electric home appliance market in the first quarter of this year, said North American market research company Trackline. Whirlpool, a U.S. company, accounted for 16.5 percent. In particular, LG Electronics’ sales reached 13.5 trillion won in the first half of this year, surpassing its archrival Whirlpool’s 11.9 trillion won.
However, patent applications by Chinese home appliance companies has recently surged, posing a threat to Korean makers. Chinese home appliance manufacturers ranked first and second in patent application rankings in the five major countries of Korea, the United States, Europe, China and Japan. In fact, China’s leading home appliance companies, Haier Group and Midea, are sweeping first place in patent applications in the electric home appliance sector in the top five IP countries between 2011 and 2020. Haier stood first in patent applications in the washing machine category. Midea claimed the No. 1 spots in the refrigerator and air conditioner sector