ORLANDO, Fla. (CN) – A federal judge granted General Electric’s motion for summary judgment that it did not infringe on Mitsubishi’s patent on control systems for wind power turbines.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries filed a suit against General Electric Co. claiming GE infringed on its patent, referred to in the judge’s order as the ‘185 patent, on systems for controlling the pitch angles of blades on turbines.
GE denied the patent infringement and filed a counterclaim seeking a declaratory judgment for non-infringement, invalidity and unenforceability of the ‘185 patent.
Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy that can be used to produce electricity. Modern turbines have a tower and a rotor with a hub that has three blades. Wind causes the blades to turn, and the blades drive the rotor to power the generator that converts the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity.
Mitsubishi said GE infringed on claims 1 and 5 of its patent. Both have to do with a wind powered generator with a plurality of blades compromising a blade pitch angle control device including a memory device.
GE’s wind turbines have contain systems called “Advanced Controls” and “Model-Based Controls” which enable the turbines to perform individual blade pitch control, that Mitsubishi said infringes on its patent.
GE denied either of its systems infringe on Mitsubishi’s patent and argue that there is a “complete absence of evidence” that the elements in the claims describe the “command value receiving device.”
Mitsubishi still claimed GE’s wind turbines do retrieve pitch angle values from a memory device, and that alone infringes on its patent.
U.S. District Judge John Antoon granted GE’s motion summary judgment regarding non-infringement and called the invalidity claim moot.