Thursday, February 10, 2011

GE and Mitsubishi fighting over wind turbines at the CAFC

Diane Bartz at Reuters gave some graphic description of interchanges at the CAFC in arguments between GE and Mitsubishi over wind turbines:

General Electric's counsel, William Lee, jousted with two of the three judges hearing the case over how one of two patents in dispute in the case was worded. A third patent in the original lawsuit has expired and has been set aside.

As Lee sought to describe how 18 transistors protected another 18 in a the wind turbine's inverter, Judge Richard Linn pointed out that a drawing in the patent actually conflicted with the patent language.

"We think that information is in the claim," insisted Lee.

Chief Judge Randall Rader seemed to disagree. "Your argument seems to stretch the (patent) claim," he said during a hearing at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

****Also in the article:

Rader noted that the wind turbine technology was changing rapidly, which meant that how a patent would be used could change as technology changed.

"You're requiring them to write a claim that anticipates the future and I find that a heavy burden to put on anyone," he said.

In passing, William F. Lee is regarded as the first Asian-American to lead a major American law firm.


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