Patent clash takes a new twist

German turbine manufacturer Enercon says it is perplexed by claims from Danish rival Vestas that more patent writs from Enercon are on the way. Enercon issued a writ against Vestas Wind Systems and Vestas Deutschland in August claiming infringement of its rotor blade lightning protection patent (Windpower Monthly, September 2005). But Enercon's lawyer Stefan Knottnerus-Meier says it is "not clear" what Vestas is referring to when it stated last month that "Enercon claims the Vestas group may be infringing additional patent rights."

Vestas warns its shareholders that its patent battle with Enercon may be deeper and broader than anticipated. It says Enercon's additional claim "concerns patents related to electricity grid codes, however it may also concern other issues." Enercon counters that "although much has been said" it has not threatened another writ. "There is no basis for this whatsoever," although Vestas "may have interpreted the situation differently," it says. In August, Vestas said that Enercon's patent claim was "not lawful." Discussions between the two have ground to a halt for now, says Knottnerus-Meier.