Split Decision in GE-Mitsubishi Patent Infringement Lawsuit - Federal Circuit
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Split Decision in GE-Mitsubishi Patent Infringement Lawsuit

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a split decision in the ongoing GE-Mitsubishi litigation this week.

The appellate court affirmed an earlier finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that Mitsubishi Heavy didn’t infringe upon a GE patent for technology used in variable-speed wind turbines, but it reversed and remanded an ITC ruling on another GE turbine technology patent. GE will now argue again to the ITC that Mitsubishi Heavy infringed on the remanded patent, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The GE-Mitsubishi wind turbine litigation has been a constant presence in the courts since GE filed a patent infringement lawsuit with the ITC in 2008, alleging that Mitsubishi had infringed on GE wind-turbine patents.

The ITC ruled for Mitsubishi in January 2007. (That's the case the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals partially reversed on Wednesday.) After losing before the ITC, GE filed a suit in a Texas court in February 2010, accusing Mitsubishi of breaching more GE patents, reports The New York Times.

GE and Mitsubishi are currently arguing in the Dallas court over whether Mitsubishi infringed a patent on a way to keep turbines connected to utility grids during voltage fluctuations without sustaining damage, reports Bloomberg.

Considering that both GE and Mitsubishi Heavy want to profit off of the $12 billion U.S. wind-energy machinery market, the legal disputes are unlikely to end any time soon.

In addition to the patent litigation, Mitsubishi Heavy is litigating an antitrust lawsuit against GE. Mitsubishi claims that GE is engaging in anticompetitive behavior, using bogus patent infringement claims to completely eliminate Mitsubishi's $2 billion of annual U.S. sales of variable-speed wind turbines, reports The Wall Street Journal.

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