Baker & Hostetler LLP

09/09/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/09/2022 10:47

BakerHostetler's intellectual property team secures massive victory for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

BOSTON - Sept. 9, 2022

Key takeaways

  • A federal judge permanently enjoined General Electric Co. from making, using, offering for sale, selling, importing, or installing its Haliade-X wind turbines in the U.S. The Haliade-X is GE's flagship offshore wind turbine.
  • Jurors previously awarded Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy the maximum requested royalty rate of $30,000 per megawatt for GE's infringement.
  • The permanent injunction contains carve-outs for two existing U.S. offshore wind farm projects, called Vineyard Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 1. As to these, the federal judge ordered GE to pay $30,000 per megawatt for Vineyard Wind 1 and will hold a hearing .to determine the royalty rate for Ocean Wind 1. The combined royalties for these two projects, without any increase in the $30,000 rate for Ocean Wind 1, are estimated to be valued at roughly $60 million.
  • This particular wind turbine patent, known as the '413 patent, is a key technological advance that enables wind turbines to be scaled up in size.

Why this matters

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, a Boston-based federal judge enjoined Siemens Gamesa's direct competitor GE from making, using, offering for sale, selling, importing, or installing wind turbines in the U.S. that infringe a Siemens Gamesa patent. This injunction follows a June victory for the BakerHostetler team, when a jury found the '413 patent to be both valid and infringed by GE and awarded the firm's client Siemens Gamesa a royalty of $30,000 per megawatt - which is estimated to be valued at roughly $60 million if applied to just two of GE's offshore wind farm projects. The jury verdict and judge's decision mean that Siemens Gamesa has exclusive rights to produce wind turbines that include a key technological advance that allows larger turbines and lowers the chances that the turbines fail. Siemens Gamesa is the global market leader in offshore wind technology and was the first company to start installing wind turbines in the sea some 30 years ago.

About the victory

A team of BakerHostetler intellectual property attorneys secured a decisive victory for Siemens Gamesa in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, where a jury awarded the leading wind turbine producer a $30,000 per megawatt royalty rate for infringement (estimated to be valued at roughly $60 million for two existing offshore wind farm projects) and a federal judge permanently enjoined GE from making, using, offering for sale, selling, importing, or installing its flagship Haliade-X wind turbines in the U.S.

The BakerHostetler attorneys successfully argued that GE's past infringement caused Siemens Gamesa to lose market share and good will and that continued infringement would irreparably damage Siemens Gamesa's future business and reputation.

In his decision, U.S. District Court Judge William Young agreed with the BakerHostetler team, holding that Siemens Gamesa was entitled to the permanent injunction because it "has shown irreparable harm" as a result of the infringement and "has lost a significant portion of the market share to GE."

Judge Young continued by noting, "Allowing GE to continue its infringing conduct would surely chill advancement of wind turbine and renewable energy technology and thus would defy the public interest in closely protecting valued patent rights."

The Massachusetts win comes on the heels of another victory against GE at the U.S. International Trade Commission earlier this year. There, BakerHostetler successfully defended Siemens Gamesa against claims that the company's wind turbines infringed two GE patents relating to ride-through techniques when the power grid experiences low-voltage faults. The BakerHostetler ITC team, led by Cy Walker and Robert Hails, persuaded the ITC that a first GE patent was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and that Siemens Gamesa's current wind turbine products did not infringe a second GE patent.

Key quote

"Securing this victory is extremely significant for Siemens Gamesa, but also showcases the importance of protecting intellectual property," said Leif Sigmond, partner, BakerHostetler. "With a permanent injunction in place, the company's valuable rights are protected and our client can continue as a leader in the renewable energy industry."

About the team

The BakerHostetler team was led by IP partner Leif Sigmond and included Michael Gannon, Daniel Goettle, Jason Hoffman, Cy Walker, Stephanie Hatzikyriakou and Elizabeth Sneitzer.

For more information on BakerHostetler's Intellectual Property Practice Group, visit https://www.bakerlaw.com/IntellectualProperty. You also can connect with us on Twitter at @BakerHostetler or on LinkedIn @BakerHostetler and @LeifSigmond.

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About BakerHostetler

With hundreds of highly ranked attorneys across multiple practice areas, BakerHostetler helps clients around the world address their most complex and critical business and regulatory issues, delivering sophisticated counsel and outstanding client service. The firm has six core practice groups - Business, Digital Assets and Data Management, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, Litigation, and Tax - composed of more than 1,000 lawyers located coast to coast. For more information, visit bakerlaw.com.