GE Renewable Energy wins UK patent dispute with SGRE

The UK High Court has ruled in favour of GE Renewable Energy in a patent dispute with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE or Siemens Gamesa) concerning the design of it offshore wind turbines.

Siemens Gamesa alleged that GE Renewable Energy infringed a European Patent (UK) No. 2 657 519 B1. GE Renewable Energy has been commissioned to provide the Haliade-X wind turbine and denied infringement and said argued that the patent is invalid.

The UK judge ruled that the patent is invalid and that there is no infringement. According to the judge, any appeals should take place as early as possible in the new Term in January 2023.

There is a counterpart to this action in relation to which GE is suing Siemens for patent infringement. That action is for trial next year.

According to GE Renewable Energy, it made arguments consistent with those we are making in appealing the decision in the patent case against the Haliade-X in the US. A GE Renewable Energy Spokesperson said: “We are pleased with the court’s ruling, which reinforces our view that not only is the technology in the Haliade-X different from other patented technology, but the patent in question and its counterparts should not have been issued in the first place. We remain committed to bringing the benefits of the Haliade-X to offshore wind customers globally, and we will continue to defend our technology by pursuing all legal and technical options available to us.”

Siemens Gamesa issued the following statement: "Siemens Gamesa is committed to protecting its valuable intellectual property rights and will continue to do so.  The company is analyzing the UK Court’s ruling and have no further comment at this time."

There have been parallel proceedings in the US where a related patent was found valid and infringed. U.S. District Judge William Young's ruled earlier this year (7 September 2022) in favour of Siemens Gamesa, and prevented GE Renewable Energy from using a specific design for the Haliade-X that has been deemed to infringe the ‘413 patent. It follows a jury's decision back in June that GE Renewable Energy infringed patent 413 and as a result Siemens Gamesa was entitled to a royalty rate of $30,000 per MW GE Renewable Energy's use of infringing turbines.

Ocean Wind 1 and Vineyard Wind projects have been made exempt from the ruling and will be supplied with GE Renewable Energy's turbine. However, as per the jury's finding previously, for each infringing Haliade-X wind turbine installed GE Renewable Energy shall pay Siemens Gamesa a royalty consisting of $30,000 per megawatt for Vineyard Wind. A royalty rate for Ocean Wind 1 is to determined upon further hearing.

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