* Mitsubishi, GE battling over wind turbine technology
* Fight over one patent remanded to ITC
WASHINGTON, Feb 29 (Reuters) - General Electric Co has won a federal appeals court ruling that requires the U.S. International Trade Commission to reconsider its decision that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd did not infringe a GE patent on wind turbine technology.
GE had appealed the ITC’s 2010 ruling that the Japanese engineering conglomerate did not infringe three GE patents in one of a series of lawsuits between the rivals for the wind turbine market .
The U.S. Court of Appeals said one of the three patents had expired and had been dropped from the case, and it affirmed that Mitsubishi Heavy did not infringe a second patent.
But the court reversed the ITC’s decision that there was no domestic industry for the third patent, and asked the ITC to reconsider infringement claims for that one. Companies must prove that a technology is being used in the United States in order to sue for infringement at the ITC.
GE said in a statement that it was pleased to get another chance to show that Mitsubishi infringed one patent, but disappointed that the no-infringement decision on a second was upheld.
“GE will continue to take the necessary steps to protect its significant investment in technological research and development in the U.S. and around the world,” the company said in an emailed statement.
Mitsubishi Heavy said it was pleased with the portion of the ruling that found it did not infringe one patent, and confident it would win on the patent remanded to the ITC.
“These decisions remind the renewable energy industry, Congress and the public at large that GE has been relying on a cascade of litigation to maintain a monopoly in the wind turbine market,” the company said in a statement.
“GE’s marathon return to the courthouse is the most revealing evidence of its strategy to keep competitors out of the wind turbine market,” the statement said.
The case before the Federal Circuit is General Electric v. ITC. (2010-1223). The case before the International Trade Commission was 337-TA-641.