This week marks the one-year anniversary of our first post to the Duane Morris Green IP Blog, so we thought we’d mark the occasion with a look back at our top posts of the first year. This list was developed subjectively from a loose combination of reader feedback, page traffic, and republication. Continue reading Top Posts from Our First Year of the Duane Morris Green IP Blog
- The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has found parts of a smart power meter patent owned by Smart Meter Technologies (“SMT”) to be unpatentable.
- A lawsuit over potential infringement of the patent by Duke Energy remains on hold pending an appeal of the Board’s decision.
In March 2016, Smart Meter Technologies, Inc. filed a lawsuit in federal court in Delaware alleging that Duke Energy infringed SMT’s U.S. Patent Number 7,058,524 by installing and operating automated power distribution equipment in residential installations. The lawsuit named the smart meters used by Duke as OpenWay® smart meters sold by Itron, Inc. Itron, which may have had an obligation to indemnify Duke, then petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to institute an inter partes review (“IPR”) of the ‘524 Patent, a procedure through which parties can request that the USPTO review an issued patent to challenge that the claims of the patent are not valid. Continue reading Patent Trial and Appeal Board Strikes Down Claims of Smart Meter Patent
- After filing a first challenge against GE’s U.S. Patent No. 6,921, 985 in May, Vestas has filed a second challenge in August to expand its attack on that patent. GE had previously asserted the ’985 Patent against Vestas in a federal patent infringement lawsuit.
Last month Vestas Wind added yet another proceeding to its year-long patent battle against General Electric Company, filing a new challenge against GE’s U.S. Patent No. 6,921,985 at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Vestas had already filed one challenge against the ’985 Patent in May, and appears to have filed a second challenge to attack additional claims of the ’985 Patent. Continue reading Vestas Files New Challenge Against GE Wind Turbine Patent
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 to challenge the validity at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of patent claims that have been asserted against them in a U.S. District Court.
- After Varentec sued Gridco for patent infringement, Gridco requested inter partes reviews for the asserted patents. However, Gridco’s requests were denied.
Grid management solutions company Varentec, Inc., dodged a pair of requests by rival Gridco, Inc. to invalidate Varentec’s U.S. patents this week. Gridco had challenged Varentec’s patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), an administrative tribunal within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that hears claims against the validity of U.S. patents. The PTAB denied Gridco’s requests for review of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,014,867 and 9,293,922. These related patents are owned by the Santa Clara-based Varentec and are directed to optimizing power delivery to consumers on an electrical grid with significant distributed generation. Continue reading Varentec Dodges Gridco Requests for Inter Partes Review
- 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.