Tag Archives: patent infringement

Solar Panel Mounting Patents Found Invalid, Potentially Saving Defendants EcoFasten and SunModo

  • 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, Vestas Battling in a Technological Field They Dominate

  • 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

Wind Turbine Litigation: Judge Orders Stay of GE v. Vestas

  • 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 v. Vestas Litigation Update: GE Moves to Sever Counterclaims, Vestas Brings Invalidity Challenge

  • 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

Design of Solar-Powered Lightbulbs at Issue in New Litigation

  • 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

Federal Circuit Upholds Validity of Philips Patent on Dimmable LEDs

  • 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

GE Opens a Second Front in Patent Fight with Vestas

  • GE filed petitions on Friday to challenge the validity of a pair of Vestas patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Those patents were asserted by Vestas against GE in related patent litigation in federal court.
  • GE and Vestas are now likely to continue their patent fight in two forums: the federal court hearing patent infringement claims between the parties and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board hearing GE’s validity challenges to the Vestas patents.

General Electric Co. has challenged a pair of patents owned by Vestas Wind Systems A/S at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In petitions for inter partes review filed last Friday, GE alleges that the Vestas patents are invalid because they merely claim as inventions what was already known in the field of wind turbine technology. With the parties already engaged in litigation in U.S federal courts, GE’s move opens a second front in the ongoing patent fight with Vestas.

GE initially sued Vestas in July 2017, alleging that Vestas infringes GE’s U.S Patent No. 6,921,985. In November, GE expanded the lawsuit by adding another patent – GE’s U.S. Patent No. 7,629,705 – that GE asserted Vestas also infringes. Both of GE’s asserted patents are directed to technology for connecting wind turbines to power grids.
Continue reading GE Opens a Second Front in Patent Fight with Vestas

SemaConnect Wins Dismissal of ChargePoint’s Patent Lawsuit

  • A federal court dismissed claims of patent infringement brought by ChargePoint, Inc. against a rival in the EV charging station market, SemaConnect, Inc. The court found ChargePoint’s asserted patents to claim inventions that are ineligible for patent protection and thus unenforceable against SemaConnect.
  • ChargePoint has appealed the decision to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which will hear arguments between the parties.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging station provider SemaConnect Inc. won dismissal of a patent infringement lawsuit brought in federal court in Maryland. The lawsuit, brought by ChargePoint Inc., was thrown out after the court found that all four of ChargePoint’s asserted patents claim inventions that are ineligible for patent protection. Specifically, the court found that the patents claim nothing more than an “abstract idea” as their invention.

SemaConnect CEO Mahi Reddy called the result a “vindication of our effort to support open standards and interoperability of charging networks and stations.” He added that “this outcome is also a big win for the charging industry, the electric vehicle industry, and utilities.” Continue reading SemaConnect Wins Dismissal of ChargePoint’s Patent Lawsuit

Alstom Grid Appeals, Reverses Dominion Energy’s Patent Win

  • Alstom Grid successfully reversed a jury verdict finding that Alstom infringed a Dominion Energy patent directed to smart grid management technology.
  • The appeal was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is the federal appeals court that takes all appeals of U.S. patent cases.

Alstom Grid LLC won an appeal at the Federal Circuit after last year suffering a patent trial loss to Dominion Energy, Inc. over smart grid management technology. In overturning the earlier jury verdict, the Federal Circuit stated that “no reasonable jury” could have found Alstom to infringe Dominion’s patent. Continue reading Alstom Grid Appeals, Reverses Dominion Energy’s Patent Win

EV Charging Company to Rival: Your Patents Aren’t Valid

  • In a battle over EV charging station technology, a patent defendant has argued that the plaintiff’s technology is ineligible for patent protection and that the entire case should be dismissed from federal court.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging station provider SemaConnect, Inc., has requested that a patent lawsuit be dismissed because the asserted patents are invalid. The patents are owned by rival ChargePoint, Inc., an EV charging company that appears to have brought the lawsuit against SemaConnect after being shut out of a major installation contract. The contract was offered by Electrify America, the VW subsidiary that has pledged to spend $2 billion on EV infrastructure. You can find our earlier post on this case here. Continue reading EV Charging Company to Rival: Your Patents Aren’t Valid