AMSC, formerly American Superconductor, an equipment manufacturer serving wind and grid industries, has provided an update regarding its legal actions in China. As previously reported, AMSC filed for arbitration and three civil lawsuits in the Chinese courts against Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd. and companies related to Sinovel. In total, AMSC is seeking to recover more than $1.2 billion for contracted shipments and damages from Sinovel in these cases, which stem from Sinovel’s contractual breaches in March 2011 and AMSC’s discovery of intellectual property theft by Sinovel employees in June 2011.
The smallest of the civil cases is a copyright infringement complaint filed with the Hainan Province Number 1 Intermediate People’s Court case against Sinovel and Dalian Guotong Electric Co. Ltd (Guotong), a company related to Sinovel. Guotong is a supplier of power converter products to Sinovel. AMSC has compiled and presented to the Hainan court evidence demonstrating that its copyrighted software is being infringed by Sinovel and Guotong. AMSC is seeking a cease-and-desist order and damages totaling about $200,000 in this case.
In December 2011, Sinovel filed a jurisdiction opposition motion requesting its dismissal by the Hainan Province No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, saying the case should be governed by the Beijing Arbitration Commission. On February 3, 2012, AMSC received the Civil Ruling from the court, which granted Sinovel’s motion and dismissed the entire case.
“We are starting to see motion from the Chinese courts, and proceedings are getting underway as expected,” said AMSC President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P. McGahn. “The Hainan court’s dismissal of our smallest case is not altogether unexpected, and we are appealing the ruling. We continue to have confidence in all of our cases and expect that our legal actions will yield a positive outcome.”
More recently AMSC is seeking to recover more than $1.2 billion for contracted shipments and damages from Sinovel in these cases, which stem from Sinovel’s contractual breaches in March 2011 and AMSC’s discovery of intellectual property theft by Sinovel employees in June 2011.
Among the cases is a civil action against Sinovel for software copyright infringement that has been filed with the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. The case alleges Sinovel’s unauthorized use of portions of the AMSC’s wind turbine control software source code developed for Sinovel’s 1.5 MW wind turbines and the binary code, or upper layer, of AMSC’s software for its PM3000 power converters. AMSC is seeking a cease and desist order and damages totaling $6 million in this case.
In November 2011, Sinovel filed a motion to remove this case from the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court and transfer the matter to the Beijing Arbitration Commission. On February 14, 2012, the court denied Sinovel’s motion to remove the case.