Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and General Electric’s wind turbine patent dispute solved.

In 2008 General (GE), the Largest US Producer of wind turbines filed a complaint with the US International Trade commission (ITC) on February 27, 2008 alleging that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)’s 2.4MW Turbines Infringes its patents. In light of the complaint, MHI accused GE of illegally trying to monopolise the US market for variable-speed wind turbines through intimidation, fraud and sham litigation, a charge that GE always denied.

However, after the ITC commissioners reviewed the ALJ’s decision in February 2010, the ruling was reversed and GE’s case was dismissed.

In continuation, GE filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in 2010, contending that Mitsubishi violated two U.S. patents (different from the three patents at issue in the ITC case) held by GE. The jury issued a verdict on March 8, 2012 that Mitsubishi violated one of those two GE patents.

After spending five years in and out of court, they both agreed on December 16th 21013, to settle their dispute by allowing each other to cross licensing their products.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies have also agreed not to make public the specific content of their settlement. However, MHI notes that the settlement will have a negligible impact on its fiscal-year 2013 earnings.

A cross-licensing agreement is an agreement according to which two or more parties grant a license to each other for the exploitation of the subject-matter claimed in one or more of the patents each owns. Usually, this type of agreement happens between two parties in order to avoid litigation or to settle an infringement dispute. 

by Akshatha Karthik