Patents Represented by Attorney Kirk Goodwin
  • Patent number: 7568354
    Abstract: An insulated ice making compartment is provided in the fresh food compartment of a bottom mount refrigerator. The ice making compartment may be integrally formed with the liner of the fresh food compartment, or alternatively, may be modular for installation anywhere in the fresh food compartment. A removable bin assembly with a front cover normally seals the ice making compartment to maintain the temperature in the compartment. A cold air duct formed in the rear wall of the refrigerator supplies cold air from the freezer compartment to the ice making compartment. A return air duct directs a portion of the air from the ice making compartment back to the freezer compartment. An air vent in the ice making compartment directs another portion of air into the fresh food compartment. A control system provides for controlling refrigerator functions in a manner that promotes energy efficiency. The refrigerator has an improved water fill tube for the ice maker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Tim L. Coulter, Thomas E. Gose, Steven G. Herndon, James H. Jenkins, Jr., Bill J. Koons, Brent A. Kramer, Scott W. Leimkuehler, Dean A. Martin, Alvin V. Miller, Kevin Lee Noel, Mauro M. Oliveira, Lester J. Ott, Ron S. Paulsen, Chad J. Rotter, David Allen Stauffer, Kyle B. Van Meter, Alan M. Welch, Robert L. Wetekamp
  • Patent number: 7566105
    Abstract: A rigid divider in a refrigerated drawer is pivotably mounted between the side walls of the drawer and is movable between a first vertical position and a second horizontal position. In the second position, the divider acts as a shelf to support food items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy M. Janda, Michele Wilcox, Andrew M. Tenbarge, Karen J. Querfurth, Paul B. Allard
  • Patent number: 7559211
    Abstract: An air tower is provided for a refrigeration appliance that has a first cooled compartment and a second cooled compartment. The air tower has a diffuser section with a plurality of vent outlets to communicate with the first cooled compartment. A central duct section is defined by walls extending away from the diffuser section. An outlet is located at an end of the central section opposite the diffuser section to communicate with the second cooled compartment. A heat trap compartment is formed along one of the walls defining the central duct section. The heat trap compartment may communicate with a defrost heater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Johnny R. Revlett, Matthew P. Deig, Daryl L. Reuter, Matthew W. Hartmann
  • Patent number: 7559119
    Abstract: A refrigerator includes a universal handle that may be selectively mounted to a front face portion or a side edge of a refrigerator door. The universal handle includes first and second handle ends separated by an intermediate portion, wherein each of the handle ends includes a recessed section. Each of the recessed sections includes a mounting arrangement formed therein, which is adapted to receive either a bracket for mounting the handle to the side edge of the door or a clip for mounting the handle to the front face portion of the door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventor: Forrest F. Wing
  • Patent number: 7555815
    Abstract: A door hinge arrangement for a door is provided including a hinge bearing and a hinge pin adapted to be received in the hinge bearing and being rotatable in the hinge bearing about a vertical axis of the hinge pin. The hinge pin has a protruding cam portion extending perpendicular to the axis and the hinge bearing has a recess formed in a side wall to receive a length of the cam portion when the hinge pin is in a first angular orientation relative to the hinge bearing corresponding to a closed position. When the hinge pin is rotated relative to the hinge bearing to a second angular orientation, the cam acts against the recess to translate the axis of the pin from a first axial position to a second axial position, such that the hinge pin will first be translated laterally as the hinge pin is rotated, and then the hinge pin will be rotated about the second axial position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Ralph Tate, Jr., Joseph L. Coleman, Mural E. West, Randy Howell
  • Patent number: 7552594
    Abstract: An insulated ice making compartment is provided in the fresh food compartment of a bottom mount refrigerator. The ice making compartment may be integrally formed with the liner of the fresh food compartment, or alternatively, may be modular for installation anywhere in the fresh food compartment. A removable bin assembly with a front cover normally seals the ice making compartment to maintain the temperature in the compartment. A cold air duct formed in the rear wall of the refrigerator supplies cold air from the freezer compartment to the ice making compartment. A return air duct directs a portion of the air from the ice making compartment back to the freezer compartment. An air vent in the ice making compartment directs another portion of air into the fresh food compartment. A control system provides for controlling refrigerator functions in a manner that promotes energy efficiency. The icemaker has improved air impingement to enhance ice making.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Tim L. Coulter, Thomas E. Gose, Steven G. Herndon, James H. Jenkins, Jr., Bill J. Koons, Brent A. Kramer, Scott W. Leimkuehler, Dean A. Martin, Alvin V. Miller, Kevin Lee Noel, Mauro M. Oliveira, Lester J. Ott, Ron S. Paulsen, Chad J. Rotter, David Allen Stauffer, Kyle B. Van Meter, Alan M. Welch, Robert L. Wetekamp
  • Patent number: 7549297
    Abstract: An insulated icemaking compartment is provided in the fresh food compartment of a bottom mount refrigerator. The icemaking compartment may be integrally formed with the liner of the fresh food compartment, or alternatively, may be modular for installation anywhere in the fresh food compartment. A removable bin assembly with a front cover normally seals the icemaking compartment to maintain the temperature in the compartment. A cold air duct formed in the rear wall of the refrigerator supplies cold air from the freezer compartment to the icemaking compartment. A return air duct directs a portion of the air from the icemaking compartment back to the freezer compartment. An air vent with a damper in the icemaking compartment directs another portion of air into the fresh food compartment. A control system provides for controlling refrigerator functions in a manner that promotes energy efficiency, including movement of the damper between open and closed positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Dean A. Martin, Alvin V. Miller, Scott Timothy Tunzi, Kyle B. Van Meter
  • Patent number: 7549713
    Abstract: A refrigerator handle assembly includes a plurality of base members which are initially attached at spaced longitudinal positions to a front face portion of a refrigerator door, with tab elements of the base members extending into openings formed in the door and screws fixing the base members in place. The handle assembly also includes a plurality of handle clip members positioned within recesses formed in end portions of a handle member. Once the base members are secured, sections of the handle are placed over the base members and the handle is slid relative to the base members whereupon portions of the base members become engaged and co-act with the handle clip members such that the handle member is drawn tight to the front face portion of the door and releasably locked in position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas E. Gose, Forrest F. Wing
  • Patent number: 7543453
    Abstract: A refrigerator with a water dispenser for dispensing water from a source of water through a user accessible water outlet. The water dispenser can include a water valve, a dispensing actuator, and a water dispensing control connected to the water valve and to the dispensing actuator to control operation of the water valve. The water dispenser can include a microcontroller including a user operable calibration routine to determine a calibrated flow rate based on the time to dispense a standard quantity of water, and a non-volatile storage to store the calibrated flow rate. The microcontroller can store the most recent calibrated flow rate in the non-volatile storage. The water dispenser control can include a measured fill mode of operation. The microcontroller can be arranged to calculate a measured fill time to dispense a user selected amount of water based on the calibrated flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick J. Boarman, Justin A. Woehler
  • Patent number: 7516515
    Abstract: A refrigerator incorporates a dual swing door including a dual hinge mechanism. The dual hinge mechanism includes a lock bar having a first end portion and a second end portion joined by an intermediate portion. Each of the first and second end portions includes first and second lobe elements. The hinge mechanism also includes a hinge plate having a first end section and a second section joined by an intermediate section. Each of the first and second end sections include a wedge member and a rudder member. The hinge plate further includes first and second hinge pins, mounted to corresponding ones of the first and second end sections, that define left and right pivot axes for the door. The rudder and wedge members interact with the first lobes to automatically force one of the second lobes into engagement with a respective hinge pin to establish a desired hinge axis for pivoting of the door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Scott W. Leimkuehler, Chad J. Rotter
  • Patent number: 7516531
    Abstract: A universal trim piece system for a refrigerator door having a decorative panel can be employed with either a front mounted door handle or a side mounted door handle. When employing the front mounted handle, the door is provided with a top trim piece, a bottom trim piece and first and second side trim pieces. When employing the side mounted handle, the door is provided with the top trim piece, the bottom trim piece and only the first side trim piece, with the side mounted handle replacing the second side trim piece. Interchanging the handles/decorative panels just requires loosening the top and bottom trim pieces, exchanging the handles and possibly the decorative panels, providing a second side trim piece or handle, and re-secure the top and bottom trim pieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Edward Crompton, Mark Jeffery Reimer
  • Patent number: 7509818
    Abstract: An dispensing system suitable for lifting and dispensing ice through the refrigerator compartment door of a bottom-mount refrigerator or lifting and dispensing ice from an undercounter ice maker to a dispenser on the countertop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffery J. Anselmino, Jim J. Pastryk, Nihat Cur, Andrew M. Tenbarge, Karen J. Querfurth, Douglas D. Leclear
  • Patent number: 7501594
    Abstract: A ready to attach actuation device module is provided for use with a dispenser, such as an ice or water dispenser in a refrigerator. The module includes an electrical actuation device, a wiring lead extending from the actuation device and an electrical connector attached at an end of the wiring lead. A housing encloses the actuation device and at least a portion of the wiring lead. The module incorporates an attachment mechanism which is engageable with the dispenser. The housing includes all stylings for the actuation device module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2009
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy Alan Fulton, Gary William Wilson, Sr.
  • Patent number: 7494198
    Abstract: A cabinet includes a decorative corner cover for concealing unfinished corner regions of the cabinet. The cabinet includes laterally spaced side walls that are joined by a top wall to form corner regions having an opening. The cover member includes a main body having first and second ends with the first end having a tab element that projects substantially perpendicularly from the main body portion. The tab element is preferably cylindrical and formed with a longitudinal slot that creates a radial spring. The tab element further includes a hook member integrally formed with the cylindrical element. The cylindrical element is inserted into the opening so that the hook member engages with the cabinet. The radial spring provides a biasing force that retains the cover in place. Preferably, the opening is constituted by a slot providing additional gripping surfaces for the hook member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventor: Forrest P. Wing
  • Patent number: 7493774
    Abstract: A control system for a refrigerator ice/water dispenser includes an actuation switch, at least one drive unit for releasing either ice or water, a motor activation relay that controls operation of the drive unit, and a power system having multiple power supplies for operating the control system, motor activation relay and drive unit(s). Preferably, the dispenser includes multiple actuation switches, e.g. a water activation switch and a water/ice activation switch, each having an associated activation relay for independently controlling the release of water and/or ice respectively. Current for initiating the drive unit activation relays must pass through a corresponding actuation switch in order to prevent unintended release of water and/or ice. Multiple processor circuits are preferably employed, with one processor circuit relaying to another processor circuit to enable drive unit activation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Nelson J. Ferragut, II, Brian Midlang, Robert L. Wetekamp
  • Patent number: 7490916
    Abstract: A side-by-side refrigerator includes a cabinet defining fresh food and freezer compartments, each having upper and lower sections which vary in width and volume along with corresponding fresh food and freezer doors that vary in width. The fresh food and freezer compartments are spaced by an offset mullion assembly against which the doors seal. The offset mullion assembly includes a first longitudinal member, a second longitudinal member, a brace having first and second legs and a laterally extending portion and a cosmetic cover. The offset mullion assembly provides strength to the cabinet while providing an aesthetically pleasing and uniform sealing surface for the fresh food and freezer doors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Troy M. Anderson, Garnett S. Helming, Douglas A. Pohl, Eugene H. Schuchert, Forrest F. Wing
  • Patent number: 7491327
    Abstract: A refrigerator water filter assembly is provided in the ceiling of a refrigerator and is adapted to hinge downwardly from the ceiling for changing the filter cartridge. The cartridge is normally partially recessed within the ceiling so as to minimize the use of space in the food compartment of the refrigerator. The filter assembly includes a base mounted in the refrigerator ceiling, a manifold pivotally mounted on the base, a filter cartridge attached to the manifold, and a cover pivotally mounted on the manifold so as to be movable between open and closed positions. When the cover is opened, the filter cartridge is angled downwardly from the ceiling for easy grasping by a person for replacement of the cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: James H. Jenkins, Jr., David J. Olberding, Michael J. Eveland, Todd E. Kniffen, John Frank Zinni, Timothy Mark Nugent, Ravi Kumar Sawhney
  • Patent number: 7490480
    Abstract: A refrigerator incorporates a variable speed refrigeration system including a variable speed compressor, a variable speed evaporator fan, a variable speed fresh food compartment stirring fan and a variable position damper. Various temperature sensors are provided to sense system parameters which are used by a controller to regulate each of the variable components in order to compensate for temperature changes within at least one refrigerator compartment in a highly effective, energy efficient and synergistic manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth E. Davis, Alvin V. Miller, Joseph H. Ryner, Kyle B. VanMeter, Robert L. Wetekamp
  • Patent number: 7490915
    Abstract: A divider for a pan, drawer or the like compartment in a refrigerator is constituted by multiple, pivotally interconnected pieces which can be selectively locked in a desired position to compartmentalize the storage compartment. The divider defines an over-center device that can be snapped into a locked in a desired position in the compartment, while being locked in position as a result of compressive forces being applied by front and rear walls of the pan or drawer. That is, the pan or drawer is preferably made of plastic and includes walls which deflect upon locking the divider in place. When the divider is opened or unlatched, all compressive forces are removed and the divider can be easily adjusted within the pan or drawer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey O'Halloran, Eric Silbaugh, Xiaojian James Chen
  • Patent number: 7475562
    Abstract: A bottom-mount refrigerator provides additional storage capacity by mounting a refrigeration component, for example a compressor, behind a full-width freezer drawer arranged between an upper fresh food compartment and a lower freezer compartment. In this manner, the freezer compartment is not required to be shortened or otherwise re-shaped to accommodate the refrigeration component. The refrigerator also includes an automatic ice maker mounted above the freezer drawer. The ice maker is positioned above the freezer drawer at a rearward position that accommodates structure present in the fresh food compartment. Specifically, a bi-level bin is slidably mounted in the fresh food compartment. The bin includes a deep portion that joins a shallow portion through a step section. The ice maker is mounted rearward of the step section to allow the bin to be removed from the fresh food compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventor: Gary B. Jackovin