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Patent War - now MHI takes GE to court

US: The battle over Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' (MHI) 2.5MW turbine has taken yet another twist with the Japanese manufacturer this time taking legal action against GE.

MHI's controversial 2.5MW turbine
MHI's controversial 2.5MW turbine

The wrangle between the two companies concerns some of the turbines' components, including its low-ride voltage transmission, to which GE claims it holds the patents.

Recently GE has taken court action both against MHI and former employee Thomas Wilkins, the alleged co-inventor of some of the disputed technology.

Now MHI has gone to the US District court in western Arkansas to accuse GE of seeking to monopolize the market for variable speed wind turbines in the United States.

In addition, attorneys for MHI today filed suit in United States District Court's Middle District of Florida charging GE with infringing a key Mitsubishi patent for variable speed wind turbines.

It also alleges GE has been making, using, selling and offering to sell infringing turbines without any authorization or license to do so.

An MHI spokeswoman said: "GE's patent infringement lawsuit deterred customers from purchasing variable speed wind turbines from Mitsubishi. Our lawsuit documents how GE representatives intimidated Mitsubishi customers by advising them to either purchase license agreements from GE or face infringement risk."

In response, GE described MHI's action as "meritless and outrageous" and said it would defend both "its intellectual property" and itself against the charges.

A GE spokesman said: "GE believes that protecting intellectual property rights is essential to the development and deployment of clean energy technology. Strong intellectual property rights promote investment, foster innovation, and encourage commercial deployment of technology."

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