GE Files New Patent Infringement Complaint Against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

February 16, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

General Electric Company (GE) announced that it has filed a patent infringement complaint against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.

In the complaint GE alleges that MHI infringes on two additional patents. Patents infringed by MHI include GE’s patented zero voltage ride through technology system that helps wind turbines remain connected to the electricity grid when grid voltage drops to zero.

GE has 148 issued US patents related to wind energy, and states that MHI has substantially less. GE believes that there are multiple areas where MHI’s 2.4 MW wind turbines infringe on GE’s existing patents.

Furthermore, GE plans to appeal the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) determination on January 8th, 2010. GE’s initial review of the Commission’s determination indicates errors that provide grounds for an appeal. At this time, GE is not commenting further on specific issues involved in its appeal.

The ITC had ruled that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries did not infringe on GE’s patents for wind turbines. In a complaint submitted in February 2008, GE alleged that Mitsubishi Heavy's 2.4MW variable speed wind turbines violate its patents and sought a ban on the importation of the wind turbines into the U.S.

GE owns patents pertaining to many aspects of wind technology, including fundamental system, component, and grid operability technologies. GE has licensed certain patents to a number of wind turbine manufacturers.