Siemens Gamesa dismisses GE’s ‘back of the napkin’ Haliade-X workaround in court filing

The patent dispute between GE Renewable Energy and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has escalated, with the latter dismissing GE’s new Haliade-X workarounds as “back of the napkin” designs that are too “rudimentary” to warrant a change in the permanent injunction of the Haliade-X.

GE's Haliade-X turbine (pictured left) is at the centre of an ongoing patent dispute with Siemens Gamesa (pic credits: GE and SGRE)

On October 17, GE unveiled the Haliade-X-ii and Haliade-X-iii in court documents in an attempt to circumvent the permanent injunction a judge imposed in September on US imports, manufacturing, or sales of GE’s flagship offshore turbine – the Haliade-X.

The judge has yet to rule on GE filing on the workarounds.

But in a court filing on 31 October, Siemens Gamesa said: “Aspirational drawings of a theoretical design are far from sufficient to constitute a redesigned product.”

The turbine manufacturer continued: “District courts have uniformly found it inappropriate to modify or clarify an injunction to expressly exclude an alleged redesign when the defendant has not produced a product, but instead provides mere drawings of a potential product.”

GE will ‘pursue all legal options’

GE declined to comment on Siemens Gamesa’s assertion that its design is “back of the napkin”.

But in a statement, the company said: “We remain committed to the US offshore wind market at this pivotal time for the industry and will pursue all legal and technical options to bring the benefits of the Haliade-X to US customers.”

Now read: GE ‘confident’ design-around for Haliade-X will not impact performance

In its filing on 31 October, Siemens Gamesa added: “GE asks this court to bless its drawings of a theoretical design so that it can continue to benefit from the market reputation and customer goodwill that it gained by coming out in the market with the first large scale offshore turbine using SGRE’s patented technology without authorisation – the infringing Haliade-X.”

Siemens Gamesa’s court filing concluded that the Haliade-X-ii workaround GE unveiled last month was so “rudimentary” that components such as the stationary stator and the rotating annular member “inexplicably occupy the same space". The company added: “If this ‘design’ was ever implemented, these two components would crash into each other.”

The turbine firm said GE had previously told jurors in the trial that it took two years for the Haliade-X to go from concept to introduction to the market, but that in this case “GE does not even have concept drawings yet”.