- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found three patents directed to solar panel mounting technology to have defective priority claims. As a result, the allegedly-infringing products sold by EcoFasten and SunModo pre-date the patents, rendering the patents invalid.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the invalidity of three patents directed to solar panel mounting technology. The patents are owned by solar installer D Three Enterprises LLC, and were asserted in federal court against SunModo Corporation and Rillito River Solar LLC, which does business under the name EcoFasten Solar. Now that the three patents have been affirmed as invalid, D Three’s lawsuit against SunModo and EcoFasten will potentially be dismissed. Continue reading Solar Panel Mounting Patents Found Invalid, Potentially Saving Defendants EcoFasten and SunModo
- GE and Vestas are now one year into patent litigation that has the potential to impact the U.S. wind turbine market. The parties reportedly control more than 80% of the market between them.
- The patents at issue claim inventions in the field of controlling wind turbine generators. GE and Vestas are the preeminent patent owners in this field.
This week marks one year since GE filed a patent lawsuit against its main rival in the U.S. wind turbine industry, the Danish company Vestas A/S. In the past year, GE has modified its patent infringement allegations; Vestas has denied infringement, alleged inequitable conduct by GE when obtaining the patents, and counter-sued GE for infringing Vestas’ patents; and both parties have filed challenges to each other’s asserted patents with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (see here and here). The litigation in federal court was also recently put on hold to await the outcome of those challenges at the PTAB. Continue reading GE, Vestas Battling in a Technological Field They Dominate
- While defending against allegations of trade secret misappropriation, EVelozcity attempted to disqualify part of Faraday’s legal team for a conflict of interest. That attempt fell short when the court ruled that EVelozcity had not shared confidential information with the allegedly-conflicted attorneys.
As discussed in our previous post, the artificial intelligence electric vehicle developer Faraday&Future, Inc. filed a lawsuit in January against rival startup EVelozcity, Inc. for misappropriation of trade secrets. Several senior members of the EVelozcity team were formerly employed by Faraday, and Faraday accused those former employees of stealing trade secrets on their way out the door. EVelozcity responded to these accusations with two motions to the court. Continue reading EVelozcity Loses Bid to Disqualify Part of Faraday’s Legal Team
- The artificial intelligence electric vehicle developer Faraday&Future has sued rival EVelozcity for misappropriation of trade secrets.
- EVelozcity was formed by the former CFO of Faraday and allegedly recruited several Faraday employees to defect and bring substantial amounts of confidential Faraday data with them.
In January, the artificial intelligence electric vehicle developer Faraday&Future, Inc. filed a lawsuit against rival startup EVelozcity, Inc. for misappropriation of trade secrets. Faraday has reportedly invested more than $1 billion to develop a vehicle called FF 91, which is scheduled to begin production late this year. Continue reading Breaking Down the Faraday Future Trade Secret Case
- The patent litigation between GE and Vestas was put on hold pending the outcome of several challenges to the disputed patents brought at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
- The patents at issue include both GE and Vestas patents directed to wind turbine technology, and specifically to ensuring safe and reliable connections between wind turbines and the power grid.
- Based on scheduling at the PTAB, the patent litigation will likely be suspended for a minimum of six months and a maximum of eighteen months.
The U.S. District Court judge hearing a dispute over wind turbine patents between GE and Vestas put the case on hold last week, electing to await developments in a series of challenges brought against the patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In an order signed June 7, 2018, Judge Andre Birotte Jr. indicated that the litigation is stayed (suspended) until the PTAB has issued Institution Decisions in each of the validity challenges filed by GE and Vestas (for a recap of those challenges, see our earlier posts regarding GE’s challenges against Vestas and Vestas’s challenges against GE). Continue reading Wind Turbine Litigation: Judge Orders Stay of GE v. Vestas
- GE asked a federal court to split its patent litigation with Vestas into two parts, which would allow the litigation to proceed with respect to GE’s claims against Vestas while delaying a trial on Vestas’ counterclaims against GE.
- Vestas filed invalidity challenges at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board against the two GE patents asserted in the litigation.
The patent litigation between two titans of the wind turbine industry continues to heat up as the parties fight over the validity of each other’s patents and the scope of the dispute itself. GE and Vestas, reported to control more than 80% of the US wind turbine market, have been engaged in patent litigation since last summer. Recent developments in the case have the potential to greatly impact the number of claims heard at trial and the relative bargaining power between the parties. Continue reading GE v. Vestas Litigation Update: GE Moves to Sever Counterclaims, Vestas Brings Invalidity Challenge
- ArcelorMittal has challenged the validity of a solar tracking patent owned by Array Technologies in a petition filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
- Array Technologies had previously brought infringement claims against a solar tracking company called Exosun. ArcelorMittal later bought assets from Exosun, which may have prompted ArcelorMittal’s challenge to the Array Technolgies patent.
International steel and manufacturing giant ArcelorMittal filed a petition in March at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board challenging the validity of a solar tracking patent owned by Array Technologies, Inc. If successful, ArcelorMittal’s challenge could result in the cancellation of a significant portion of Array Technologies’ U.S. Patent No. 8,459,249. Continue reading Solar Tracking Patent Disputed: ArcelorMittal v. Array Technologies
- A pair of manufacturers are engaged in litigation over the specific design of a solar lightbulb.
- Design patents are used to protect the appearance of a product rather than the product’s functionality.
The Gerson Companies, a home décor products importer based in Olathe, Kansas, has sued Quanxin Lighting and Electrical (USA) Inc. in federal court in Delaware last month for infringement of a design patent. The patent is directed to the design of a solar-powered lightbulb. In the lawsuit, Gerson has requested monetary damages and an injunction preventing Quanxin USA’s continued sale of the allegedly infringing products. Continue reading Design of Solar-Powered Lightbulbs at Issue in New Litigation
- The Patent Trial and Appeal Board recently decided that a Philips patent on dimmable LED technology is valid despite a challenge from a competitor. That decision was later affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- The patent at issue has been well-litigated, with Philips asserting the patent against numerous competitors in federal courts and at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
A patent directed to dimmable LED technology was upheld as valid in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The patent is owned by Philips Lighting North America Corporation, a subsidiary of Dutch consumer product giant Koninklijke Philips N.V. The Federal Circuit’s decision marks the unsuccessful conclusion of a challenge to the patent’s validity brought by a competitor of Philips Lighting called Wangs Alliance Corporation, which does business under the name WAC Lighting. Continue reading Federal Circuit Upholds Validity of Philips Patent on Dimmable LEDs
The latest hurricane season, which left millions without power for substantial periods of time, was yet another reminder of the urgent need to make America’s electrical grid more resilient. The increasing frequency and intensity of such storms is exposing the vulnerabilities of the aging electrical grid, i.e., the network of transmission and distribution lines often spanning long distances between power generation sources and population centers. These lines can be taken out of service by falling trees, flying debris, or extreme heat or cold, while their substations can be destroyed by flooding, leaving tens of thousands of customers without power at a time.
Microgrids, which provide more localized power generation and distribution, can play a vital role in providing resilience by islanding themselves from the rest of the grid during such outages while continuing to provide power to critical facilities. In addition to providing resiliency, microgrids have other potential benefits, such as reducing peak demands for the larger grid through optimization of resources, reducing carbon emissions through increased energy efficiency and the deployment of renewable energy resources, and acting as market participants in the organized wholesale electricity markets. These evolving roles for microgrids raise legal questions for state and federal regulatory authorities, which are racing to catch up with this technology to provide appropriate guidance and regulation.
To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorney Patrick L. Morand, please visit the Natural Resources & Environment website.