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GE fights back with new lawsuit against Mitsubishi

US: GE has struck back in its wind turbine patent battle with Mitsubishi (MHI) and filed a new lawsuit against the Japanese firm in the US federal court.

MHI's controversial 2.4MW wind turbine
MHI's controversial 2.4MW wind turbine

The claim is over MHI’s 2.4MW turbine, which GE believes infringes its intellectual property rights on a number of counts.

However on January 8, GE suffered a setback in its case when the US International Trade Commission sided with MHI.

Now GE has filed a new lawsuit in Dallas’ federal court. It says MHI has infringed two further two patents, one regarding the turbine’s connections to the grid and the other on the 2.4MW turbine’s base structure.

GE has also said it is planning to appeal against the ITC’s decision. When the ITC came out in favour of MHI it delayed giving its reason why it believed the company did not infringe on GE’s property rights. It is due to outline the rationale behind the decision this month.

There is speculation the ITC may have found that GE does not fully own the ‘985 patent, its primary low-voltage ride-through (LVRT) patent. 

Administrative law Judge Carl Charneski, in his preliminary issued opinion in August, found that a California-based engineer Thomas Wilkins co-owned the ‘985.

Had GE prevailed in this key round of the clash of the titans, imports of Mitsubishi’s flagship turbine could have been halted within 60 days.

Additionally plans for a $100-million factory in 2011 in Arkansas for assembling Mitsubishi’s 2.4’s in the US—a first-- could also have been axed.

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