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Judge issues final ruling for patent dispute between SGRE and GE

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 08/09/2022 GE Renewable Energy / Siemens Gamesa

U.S. District Judge William Young has issued his final ruling regarding a patent dispute between Siemens Gamsea Renewable Energy (Siemens Gamesa) and GE Renewable Energy.

Filed back in 2020, Siemens Gamesa's lawsuit alleged that GE’s offshore wind turbine Haliade-X infringes two of its offshore Direct Drive technology patents. One concerned the enhancement of direct drive technology (776) and the other concerned its novel structural support arrangement (413).

Judge Young's ruling yesterday (7 September 2022) prevents 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 megawatt 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 will be determined upon further hearing.

A spokesperson from Siemens Gamesa isued the following statement regarding the ruling: "Siemens Gamesa welcomes the judgment of the US District Court of Massachusetts today enjoining GE from selling their Haliade-X turbine in the United States. We understand the Court's decision to carve out the Vineyard Wind and Ocean Wind 1 projects from the injunction, and we will continue to protect and defend our intellectual property and the innovations provided by Siemens Gamesa's offshore wind turbines."

According to GE Renewable Energy, it disputes the notion that the patent was infringed and that it’s valid, and plans to pursue its arguments on appeal.

GE Renewable Energy also outlined that the ruling does not prevent it from using the Haliade-X trademark with a wind turbine, and it does not prevent it from looking into design alternatives that do not infringe on the ‘413 patent. The company revealed that it has teams looking at design work-around options so that it is in a position to provide the benefits offered by the Haliade-X to customers with the design changes that avoid the ‘413 patent.

Furthermore, GE Renewable Energy stated that it is considering appealing this ruling to the to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is the court that hears patent disputes of this nature. It is also considering requesting a stay of the injunction.

A GE Renewable Energy issued the following statement: “While we’re pleased the Ocean Wind I and Vineyard Wind projects are allowed to move forward with the current design of GE’s Haliade X offshore wind turbine, we respectfully disagree with the injunction. Our customers are aware that we can and will explore other design options that enable us to bring the benefits of the Haliade-X to the U.S. We’re exploring all legal options to ensure that we can continue to support the growth of offshore wind in the U.S., including an appeal of today’s ruling. We are fully committed to the U.S. offshore wind industry, to each of our ongoing projects, and remain confident in the legal and technical options available to us.”

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.


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