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AMSC Taking Sinovel Infringement Suit to China’s Supreme Court

American Superconductor Corp., a U.S. maker of wind-turbine components, filed an appeal with China’s highest court for an intellectual property lawsuit against Sinovel Wind Group Co.

The company filed the appeal with China’s Supreme People’s Court today for a case that was dismissed by a provincial high court last week, Devens, Massachusetts-based AMSC said in a statement.

AMSC is pursuing four suits in China against Sinovel, seeking more than $1.2 billion in damages. It accused the Chinese turbine maker, formerly its largest customer, of violating sales contracts and stealing its technology in September. Today’s filing is for a $200,000 copyright infringement case against the Chinese turbine maker and Dalian Guotong Electric Co.

“While this case means little to us from a monetary perspective, we will continue to seek justice through the Chinese courts on this matter of global importance,” John Powell, AMSC’s general counsel, said in the statement.

Sinovel stopped accepting contracted shipments in March 2011. A former AMSC employee in Austria was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty in September to criminal charges including economic espionage for obtaining software and source code for Sinovel.

The Hainan Higher Court upheld April 5 a February decision by the Hainan Province No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court to dismiss the copyright infringement case and transfer it to arbitration.

AMSC has three other cases pending in China. The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court rejected in February a request from Sinovel to move to arbitration another copyright infringement suit, which is seeking $6 million in damages.

The company is also pursing a $450 million trade secret case with the Beijing Higher People’s Court and a $770 million case that will be heard in arbitration.

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