- 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
- 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
Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. was convicted last month of stealing software from AMSC Inc., a U.S.-based company formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. The theft nearly destroyed the American company, which lost substantial service contracts after the theft and began to shed market capitalization, jobs, and facilities as a result. With the conviction, Sinovel now awaits sentencing, scheduled for June 2018, which could include more than $1 billion in fines and a multi-year probationary period. Continue reading Three Lessons from the Conviction of Sinovel Wind Group for Trade Secret Theft
- Vestas has added its own claims of patent infringement against GE in ongoing litigation between the wind turbine manufacturers, accusing GE of infringing a pair of Vestas patents directed to technology for connecting and controlling wind turbines on a power grid.
In a court filing on December 15, 2017, Danish-based Vestas Wind Systems A/S raised the stakes in its ongoing patent litigation with General Electric by asserting its own claims of patent infringement. Continue reading Vestas Adds Patent Infringement Claim Against GE in Wind Turbine Litigation
- A helical wind turbine design by Change Wind Corporation was denied registration as a trademark because the design was deemed functional rather than ornamental, and Change Wind was unable to prove that customers knew the source of the design.
- It can be difficult to register product designs as trademarks once the features of the design are the subject of a patent application.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied an application by wind turbine manufacturer Change Wind Corporation to register its helical turbine design (shown below) as a trademark. The denial likely ends Change Wind’s quest to be granted exclusive rights to the registration of this specific design. Continue reading Why Change Wind Corporation Cannot Register Its Helical Turbine as a Trademark
- Vestas has responded to GE’s patent infringement lawsuit with claims that GE engaged in inequitable conduct when obtaining a patent asserted in the lawsuit.
- If proven, inequitable conduct renders a patent unenforceable.
Wind turbine giant Vestas has answered a patent infringement lawsuit brought by General Electric Co. with a counteroffensive, claiming GE committed inequitable conduct when obtaining one of the asserted patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Vestas additionally sought to have one of its corporate entities removed from the case altogether. (Our post explaining GE’s lawsuit is available here). Continue reading Vestas Fires Back in GE Wind Turbine Lawsuit
- 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.
Continue reading General Electric Expands Patent Fight Against Vestas