Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy A/S v. General Electric Co. et al. (D. Mass. 21-cv-10216).

  • June 17, 2022

After a fourteen day trial on infringement and invalidity, the jury returned a verdict finding that General Electric infringed U.S. Patent No. 9,279,413 (some claims literally, others under the doctrine of equivalents) by selling GE’s Halide-X wind turbines.  The asserted claims from this patent were found to be valid and enforceable.  The GE turbines were found not to infringe the asserted claims of U.S. 8,575,776, which were found to be invalid as obvious and lacking written description.  Judge Young entered final judgment to this effect. 

Judge Young further found that Siemens would suffer irreparable injury without entry of a permanent injunction.  He found that Siemens had demonstrated that GE was directly competing with Siemens based on its use of the infringing turbines, which established irreparable harm.  He credited Siemens’ argument that it had lost significant market share as a result of the infringement, including at least one contract in which Siemens and GE were to final competitors I the bidding process.  The parties further each agreed that the installation of wind turbines resulted in downstream sales (maintenance, repair, and further sales) that would vary from customer to customer and were thus difficult to quantify.  He rejected GE’s argument that an injunction could not issue where the patentee had requested a reasonable royalty, finding numerous examples where both royalties and injunctions were awarded.  He further rejected arguments that a permanent injunction could not issue where a preliminary injunction had not been sought.  He determined that the balance of hardships favored Siemens, as Siemens’ primary product was offshore wind turbines, while such turbines formed only a small part of GE’s business, and GE had non-infringing turbine designs that it could offer in lieu of the infringing products. 

In looking at the public interest, Judge Young noted that the public is best served by a robust patent system, but that other interests were of key concern.  He noted that “the world is currently facing a rapidly developing climate crisis,” and that delaying large scale wind energy projects would impact efforts to fight climate change.  GE had entered into two contracts that had taken “years and billions of dollars to implement” With respect to one such project, the Vineyard Wind 1 project, offshore construction had been on-going for ten months, and GE argued that no other supplier could provide the required turbines within the needed time frame.  The second contract, for the Ocean Wind 1 project, took months to years of negotiation and design work, which would have to be started again if GE were not permitted to continue.  He also noted that these projects were creating thousands of jobs and would generate millions in community benefits, primarily in increased tax revenues.  Accordingly, Judge Young modified the injunction to permit GE  to continue with the installation and operation of 62 infringing turbines for the Vineyard Wind 1 Offshore Energy Project and to continue with the same for the Ocean Wind 1 Project.  Judge Young set a royalty of $30,000 per megawatt of rated capacity for the Vineyard Wind 1 project, and ordered 100% of the funds to be paid to GE on the Ocean Wind project be deposited with the court pending a determination of the appropriate royalty rate for the project.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Lando & Anastasi, LLP. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact


How can we help you?