Wind energy powerhouses Vestas Wind Systems A/S and GE Renewable Energy announced this week that they had reached an “amicable settlement” over all disputes related to multiple patent-infringement claims in the United States which will subsequently discontinue the case pending in the US District Court for the Central District of California as well as all other pending proceedings related to the patents-in-suit.
The General Electric Company, better known as GE, acting through its Renewable Energy Business, better known as GE Renewable Energy, filed suit against Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Vestas-American Wind Technology back in July of 2017. GE claimed that Vestas had infringed on two of its patents — US Patents No. 7,629,705 and No. 6,921,985.
The two patents refer to “Method and apparatus for operating electrical machines” (US Patents No. 7,629,705) and “Low voltage ride through for wind turbine generators” (US Patents No. 6,921,985).
Vestas, for its part, retaliated later that year with counterclaims against GE claiming infringement on two of its patents, US Patents No. 7,102,247 and No. 7,859,125. Vestas’ two patents refer to “Circuit arrangement and methods for use in a wind energy installation” (US Patents No. 7,102,247) and “Method of controlling a wind turbine connected to an electric utility grid” (US Patents No. 7,859,125).
According to a Vestas press release announcing the reconciliation between the two companies, the general nature of the patents “relate to technologies that enable wind turbines to manage grid faults.”
The settlement between the two companies will release both companies from any past infringements of the relevant patents as well as including cross-licensing to all four of the patents-in-suit and their family members. The cross-licensing will apply globally to both companies’ and their global affiliates’ respective onshore and offshore wind businesses.
Vestas has also agreed to pay a confidential sum to GE.
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