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AMSC to appeal latest Chinese court decision

CHINA: Wind turbine component supplier AMSC is appealing a recent ruling by a Chinese provincial court dismissing one of the US company's four cases against former customer Sinovel.

AMSC's technology has been extensively used on Sinovel's 1.5MW turbines
AMSC's technology has been extensively used on Sinovel's 1.5MW turbines

AMSC announced today that it has lodged an appeal with the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing, mainland China’s highest court, over the Hainan Higher Court’s 5 April dismissal of one of AMSC’s suits accusing Sinovel of intellectual property (IP) theft.

In the Hainan case, AMSC argues that turbine manufacturer Sinovel and a related company, Dalian Guotong Electric Co Ltd, also a maker of electronics components, stole AMSC’s copyrighted software code for low-voltage ride-through (LVRT) technology.

In February, a lower court rejected AMSC’s suit, saying it was a contractual dispute and should therefore be heard by the Beijing Arbitration Commission because of the terms of AMSC’s and Sinovel’s contracts.

AMSC says the 5 April ruling is inconsistent with the Beijing Intermediate People's Court denial, in February, of Sinovel’s request to move another of the US company’s IP suits to the Beijing Arbitration Commission.

AMSC is also now downplaying the Hainan case, saying it is the "smallest" of its actions against Sinovel because it involves a demand for 'only' $200,000 damages.

The broad-ranging legal dispute has become a test case for China’s IP protection. AMSC is seeking a total of $1.2 billion from Sinovel in damages and lost shipment payments in three civil cases and one arbitration dispute.

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