Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies


GE attacks Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over wind turbines, again by Justin Blows
February 12, 2010, 6:53 am
Filed under: Feature

In what appears to be part of an aggressive and ongoing commercial strategy in relation to wind turbine technology, GE has filed a suit alleging patent infringement against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.  GE is also appealing the case it recently lost against Mitsubishi in the US International Trade Commission (previously reported here and here).

It is reported here that Mitsubishi is considering building a new $US100 million wind turbine plant in the US, depending on demand.  No doubt, these plans may be affected by the outcome of the litigation.  I am sure that GE is keen to keep that new factory on the drawing boards for as long as possible, and Mitsubishi may find it harder to move these plans forward while litigation is in progress. 

Apparently 80-90% of all wind turbines manufactured by Mitsubishi are sold into the US – that’s around US$1 billion.    A GE win in court could potentially transfer a significant fraction of this income to GE – no wonder they are so keen to press this litigation. 

It appears that the US wind market in particular is getting more competitive.  Siemens reportedly has 7% of the world market, according to this report, and apparently wants to increase its market share – the US market is a primary target.

It is reported here that 9,922 MW of wind power generation capacity was installed in the US last year, a 39% increase and bringing total wind power generating capacity in the U.S. to over 35,000 MW.  The five-year average annual growth rate for the industry is now 39%, up from 32% between 2003 and 2008.  Texas is, by far, the leading wind power state

With all this competition, GE is may need all the patents it can get and may well need to aggressively enforce them to stay competitive.

Justin Blows

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