WASHINGTON - The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday that it found no violation of General Electric wind turbine patents by Mitsubishi, and it terminated its investigation.
General Electric lost the round in its fight with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over patents in a trade agency proceeding that was closely watched by some U.S. lawmakers.
The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday that it found no violation of GE patents by Mitsubishi, and it terminated its investigation.
GE filed the lawsuit in 2008, alleging Mitsubishi infringed two GE patents. It later added a third patent to the lawsuit, according to Mitsubishi.
The ITC administrative law judge ruled in August that Mitsubishi violated two of the patents.
A number of U.S. lawmakers wrote to the ITC to point out the potential for lost American jobs if General Electric were to lose the case.
In his letter, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson wrote that 4,000 people worked at GE renewable energy facilities in Pensacola, Florida and elsewhere in the United States.
In a separate letter, Democrats Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Paul Tonko noted that Schenectady, New York was the global headquarters for GE Wind's business, with more than 3,600 workers. It is critical that in reviewing this case, the commission consider the importance of the domestic industries and ensure that intellectual property rights are upheld, their letter said.
Similar letters were sent to the commission by Republicans Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Sen. Lindsay Graham and Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina.
The ITC is a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it can bar the importation of devices made with infringing technology. If the ITC orders an import ban, that order would go into full effect only after a standard 60-day executive branch review. The executive branch rarely overturns the ITC's decisions.
During this review period, the banned goods can be imported but only if the importer posts a bond equal to 100 percent of the value of the imports.
The case before the International Trade Commission is 337-TA-641.
(Editing Bernard Orr)