This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

One More War vs. Chinese Green Energy


By the Financial Times ( Financial Times) -- A US high-technology company that was once a star of the clean energy sector is suing China's largest wind turbine manufacturer over alleged software theft, in one of the most acrimonious conflicts to break out between US and Chinese companies over the sensitive issue of intellectual property.

American Superconductor, which supplies components and systems for wind turbines, said on Wednesday night that it was bringing civil and criminal actions in China against Sinovel, the wind turbine manufacturer that had been its largest customer. Sinovel could not be immediately reached for comment.

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, American Superconductor said it "believes that Sinovel illegally obtained and used the company's intellectual property".

It called on the Chinese company to stop selling turbines using its software, which is used to control connections to the grid, and to pay damages.

The legal actions follow months of dispute between American Superconductor and Sinovel, the world's second-largest turbine manufacturer.

In April, American Superconductor said Sinovel, which had accounted for about 75 per cent of the US company's sales, was refusing to accept contracted shipments of components. Between deliveries that the US company says were not paid for, shipments that were not accepted and contracted sales that were not delivered, American Superconductor believes it is now owed about $250m.

In June, it uncovered what it believed was evidence of illegal software use and subsequently linked the alleged theft to a former employee of its Austrian subsidiary, AMSC Windtec, according to the SEC filing.

Daniel McGahn, American Superconductor's chief executive since May, said the company needed to pursue legal action to protect itself and its shareholders. Its shares have fallen 70 per cent in the past six months.

He said that while Sinovel was no longer a customer, American Superconductor saw further opportunities in South Korea, India, Australia and even China.

"Our action is not a judgment on the Chinese wind industry or China in general," he said. "It is an issue with one specific company."

However, the souring of a success story that was hailed by President Barack Obama as an example of how US companies could export clean energy products to China will fuel concerns about relations between the two countries' industries.

American Superconductor has still not yet filed full accounts for the year to March 2011 and has warned that some published figures will have to be restated, but is aiming to report by the end of the month.

John Kerry, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts who is chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, said: "If we don't get this resolved, it threatens hundreds of good jobs in Massachusetts. The bottom line is that this misconduct represents an egregious breach of ethical and legal commitments, which doesn't just imperil collaboration with an American company but is also a blow to Sino-American co-operation in the clean energy sector - and that's not in anyone's real interest."

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $125.90 1.10%
FB $86.13 0.38%
GOOG $524.64 0.60%
TSLA $268.16 2.30%
YHOO $39.41 1.30%

Markets

DOW 17,662.48 +66.13 0.38%
S&P 500 2,065.30 +7.66 0.37%
NASDAQ 4,988.97 +30.5020 0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs