US power technology firm AMSC has claimed a victory in the latest procedural twist in its protracted legal battle with Chinese wind group Sinovel.
AMSC said China’s Supreme People’s Court has found in
its favour over the jurisdiction of two software copyright infringement cases
it brought against Sinovel – formerly the US company’s biggest customer – and Guotong
Electric, another company involved in the proceedings.
The decision means the two actions will now be heard as two separate cases
in the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court and Hainan No. 1 Intermediate
People’s Court, said the US firm.
The update sent the company's shares 14% higher in early trading in New York.
AMSC and Sinovel had fought a series of appeals up through the Chinese
legal ladder as the latter attempted to have the two civil cases removed from
the court system and wrapped into commercial arbitration proceedings underway involving
the two parties at the Beijing Arbitration Commission.
AMSC – which is claiming damages of $6m and $200,000 in the two actions – said it will now wait to hear from the courts over new dates for the hearings.
The two civil cases and the commercial arbitration proceedings are
themselves just part of a wider legal battle between the two companies raging in China since 2011. AMSC is also pursuing Sinovel for alleged intellectual property theft and
breach of contract in a $1.2bn action centring on software code used in wind turbines.
The issue is also live in the US, where a grand jury last July
charged Sinovel, two of its executives and a former AMSC employee with stealing
trade secrets from the Massachusetts-based company.
A former employee of an
AMSC subsidiary has already been jailed in Austria amid claims that he was involved with Sinovel in obtaining
the US group’s IP.