Recharge reports that China’s Supreme People’s Court recently agreed to hearÂ AMSC’s appealÂ in one of the civil actions of the dispute.Â
This is an appeal by AMSC ofÂ the Hainan Supreme Court’sÂ decisionÂ to affirmÂ a lower courtÂ ruling thatÂ dismissed AMSC’s copyright infringement action against Sinovel, Dalian Guotong, a power converter maker partially owned by Sinovel, and Huaneng Hainan Power Company.Â
TheÂ Hainan Province No. 1 Intermediate People’s CourtÂ threw out AMSC’s suit on jurisdictional grounds after Sinovel filed a motion to dismiss in December 2011.Â Â In thatÂ motion, Sinovel argued that the case should be governed by the Beijing Arbitration Commission, which is hearing separate contractual disputes between AMSC and Sinovel.
According to the Recharge piece, AMSC appealed this copyright infringement case to the Supreme People’s Court because it is “purely a copyright infringement dispute rather than a contractual matter.Â As such, it is independent of the contracts and belongs within the civil court system.”
The of heart of the disputeÂ is AMSC’s allegations that SinovelÂ misappropriated its propietary software code for controlling wind turbines and power converters.Â Â
Specifcally, AMSC accuses Sinovel of copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets by Sinovel’s unauthorized use of the turbine control software source code and the binary code, or upper layer, of its software for the PM3000 power convertersÂ used with Sinovel’sÂ 1.5 MW turbines.Â The control software wasÂ developed by AMSC for use with Sinovel’s turbines.
The litigationÂ has involved four separate actions by AMSC in various forums in China where the effectiveness of intellectual property enforcement remains an openÂ question of increasing importanceÂ to the clean tech industry.