General Electric Expands Patent Fight Against Vestas

  • General Electric sued Vestas for infringement of a first patent in July. General Electric has now added a second patent to that lawsuit.
  • The asserted patents are directed to “Zero Voltage Ride Through” or “ZVRT” technology.

Tech giant General Electric Co. has added a new patent to its infringement claims against Vestas Wind Systems A/S, thus expanding the scope of the lawsuit it initiated in July. In an Amended Complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles earlier this month, GE now claims that Vestas infringes its U.S. Patent No. 6,921,985 which is directed to technology for connecting wind turbines to power grids. This newly-asserted patent is in addition to GE’s U.S. Patent No. 7,629,705 that was included in the original lawsuit.

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Itron Earns Review of Smart Meter Patent

  • An inter partes review is an administrative proceeding that asks the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate a U.S. Patent. These reviews are commonly used by patent litigation defendants in an attempt to invalidate patent claims that have been asserted against them.
  • Itron requested inter partes review of a patent owned and asserted by Smart Meter Technologies. Itron’s request was granted.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has agreed to review the validity of a smart utility meter patent owned by Smart Meter Technologies, Inc. (“SMT”). The validity challenge was filed by Itron, Inc., a manufacturer of smart utility meters and provider of grid monitoring and control technologies. In a decision dated October 11, 2017, the Board found that Itron had brought forth sufficient evidence of the patent’s invalidity to warrant a review proceeding.

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New Patent Spotlight: Flexible Underwater Turbine

  • A new patent has issued to Memorial University of Newfoundland for an underwater turbine that rotates to self-orient with water current.
  • Memorial University appears to have spun off a company to commercialize the patented invention.

New U.S. Patent No. 9,784,236 (the ‘236 Patent) issued on October 10th from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a “Flexible Water Turbine.” The patent describes an underwater turbine having a flexible support shaft that “permits the water current to orient the turbine” with the flow of water to optimize flow across the turbine blades. For example, Figure 3 from the ‘236 Patent illustrates a power generation unit (40) having a base (48) and turbine (41) coupled by a flexible tether (43). The patent explains that the flexible tether can be made from carbon fiber. Continue reading “New Patent Spotlight: Flexible Underwater Turbine”

Strategic Solar Energy Settles Patent Suit Against Affordable Solar Installation

  • Strategic Solar Energy and Affordable Solar Installation have settled a patent infringement lawsuit.
  • Patents may provide valuable leverage against market competitors. Parties infringing a patent may face a court injunction against further infringing activities and monetary damages.

Arizona’s Strategic Solar Energy LLC has settled its patent infringement lawsuit against New Mexico-based competitor Affordable Solar Installation, Inc. Strategic, which designs and installs a solar panel canopy branded as the PowerParasol® canopy (see, filed the lawsuit in December 2016 to assert infringement of its U.S. Patent Number 8,825,500 (the ‘500 Patent). In a court order dated October 13, 2017, the case was dismissed due to a settlement between the parties.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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