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GE wins latest round of MHI fight

UNITED STATES: GE has won the latest round of its battle with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) over the latter's 2.4MW wind turbine.

MHI's 2.4MW turbine is at the centre of the dispute with GE
MHI's 2.4MW turbine is at the centre of the dispute with GE

GEvMHI - the round-up

A US district judge has ruled GE has not infringed a patent owned by MHI related to the pitch control of wind turbine blades. The decision means the case cannot go to trial.

A GE spokesman said: "GE’s position throughout the litigation was that MHI’s claims were without merit. GE’s commitment to the protection of intellectual property rights includes a commitment to respect the intellectual property of others, and this ruling is evidence of that fact."

In March, a Texas jury found that Japan-based MHI and one of its affiliates infringed GE's '705 patent for zero-voltage ride-through technology (ZVRT), which allows turbines to cope with grid voltage fluctuations. The jurors, in a district court in Dallas, awarded GE $166.8 million for lost profits and $3.4 million for lost royalties.

More of the wind turbine at issue - MHI's flagship 2.4MW machine - are being installed in the US while the row proceeds, with the rest of the industry closely watching because of the wide applicability of three of the disputed patents.

In the five IP lawsuits filed by GE and MHI, several other patents have been cited including GE's powerful '039 for variable speed. Although '039 expired in early 2011, GE could still collect damages for past infringement.

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