Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Cleared of Infringement in Big Win for Patent Litigation Team

News / February 7, 2022

BakerHostetler obtained a huge win this week for firm client Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (Siemens Gamesa), a leading manufacturer of wind turbines for renewable energy production.  The ITC essentially cleared Siemens Gamesa’s products from infringement charges under two GE patents, which helps preserve Siemens Gamesa’s ability to remain competitive in the U.S. market. 

GE’s patents had been enforced successfully against other entities, both in the ITC and district court.  A Texas jury previously had awarded GE $169M in damages for Mitsubishi’s infringement of one patent, called the “ZVRT” patent.  Both patents had survived multiple USPTO reexaminations. 

The BakerHostetler ITC team developed multi-faceted invalidity and non-infringement defenses.  First, they worked with Siemens Gamesa engineers to redesign product features.  Second, they challenged the ZVRT patent on legal grounds, demonstrating that the patent was too abstract to define a patent-eligible invention.  Third, they defended other product features that remained unchanged.  Following a five-day evidentiary hearing in June 2021, the ALJ issued a split decision, holding the ZVRT patent invalid but finding that Siemens Gamesa infringed the second patent. 

Undeterred, the BakerHostetler team obtained full-Commission review of the ALJ’s infringement findings.  They also supported the client’s efforts with customers and a number of Governors and Congressional Representatives to explain to the ITC how GE’s requested remedy would harm US consumers.  All these efforts ultimately paid off.  Earlier this week, the ITC issued its final decision reversing the challenged infringement findings.  The ITC issued remedial orders against a single pre-redesign product feature.  Additionally, the ITC granted exemptions in its remedial orders that allow Siemens Gamesa to service all wind turbines that already operate in the US, including those with the pre-redesigned product feature.  The client now faces no significant limitations on its business as a result of this case.

The ITC trial team included Cy Walker, Bob Hails, Leif Sigmond, Theresa Weisenberger, Cassie Simmons, Liza Sneitzer, Derek Freitas, and Chris Froemel, with additional assistance provided by Ryan Harbin and Mario Calabretta.  The case is Certain Variable Speed Wind Turbine Generators and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1218 (U.S.I.T.C.).

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