US court cites patent infringement in blocking manufacturer’s sale of offshore wind turbines

Photo: GE

A judge in a US Federal Court in Boston, Massachusetts has issued a decision preventing power systems company General Electric (GE) from manufacturing or selling a series of large offshore wind turbines to the domestic market.

On Wednesday, September 7, US District Judge William Young granted an injunction requested by rival company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) in the wake of a charge of patent infringement against GE.

Earlier in June, a jury found that GE’s wind turbine design infringed a patent owned by SGRE.

In handing down the injunction, Judge Young said SGRE suffered a loss of “a significant portion of the market share” due to the infringement, thus warranting the ban on GE’s planned sales of examples of the turbine.

The court statement explaining the injuction added that SGRE “produced evidence of projected losses from GE’s continued sales, which could amount to up 600 turbines during the life of the patent.”

The court nonetheless permitted GE to proceed with its ongoing turbine installation works off Massachusetts and New Jersey on the condition that royalty payments be made to SGRE. The latter is entitled to a royalty payment rate of US$30,000 per megawatt, as stipulated in a jury verdict released by the Massachusetts District Court in June.

GE said in a statement that it is “exploring all legal options,” including appealing the ruling on the ban.

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