United States

United States

Ban to become law

The controversial ruling by America's International Trade Commission (ITC) banning German Enercon turbines from the US market still seems likely to become law. The ITC's ruling (Windpower Monthly, October 1996) becomes effective 60 days after it was issued on August 30, apparently on November 4, based on how the US government usually counts such time periods.

But as soon as it becomes law, attorneys for Enercon are vowing to continue the fight against the ruling, which underpins claims by US wind company Kenetech that the Enercon design contravenes its patent on aspects of variable speed wind turbine technology. "If it becomes final, we do anticipate appealing," says Washington lawyer Mary Helen Sears, who is representing the German manufacturer in the ITC case.

The ruling, called a notice of a "limited exclusion order," was issued after a 15-month probe by the ITC after a complaint by Kenetech Windpower, now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. President Bill Clinton could veto the ITC ruling for "policy reasons" before the November 4 deadline but is considered unlikely to do so, despite a threat by the European Union to take the case before the World Trade Council.

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