The International Chamber of Commerce Arbitral Tribunal has issued a final award confirming that the Italian power plant producer Ansaldo Energia, has unlimited rights to use Siemens technology for heavy duty gas turbines.
The arbitral award is a significant decision for the heavy duty gas power turbine market. The decision was motivated by the need to preserve more innovation and competitiveness in the global market for a technology vital to meeting climate change goals.
In a statement the company said, “It strengthens Ansaldo Energia’s worldwide position in the market and dwarfs Siemens’ efforts to limit further strong competition by the Italian company and its cooperation partners.”
The dispute came about over heavy gas turbines technology which Siemens had licensed to Ansaldo Energia under a license agreement running until October 2004.
The parties had agreed that Ansaldo could continue to use and improve such Siemens technology “without any future limitation”.
However, when in May 2014 Ansaldo announced its cooperation agreements with Shanghai Electric Group (China) and Doosan Heavy Industries (S-Korea) to enter first the most relevant Asian markets and thereafter distribute innovative gas turbines worldwide, Siemens claimed that it could immediately terminate all of Ansaldo’s rights to use the Siemens technology and started arbitration proceedings against the Italian firm.
Siemens claimed that if the Arbitral Tribunal would not stop Ansaldo’s cooperation activities, these activities would destroy substantial parts of Siemens’ gas turbine business. Siemens also stated that AEN’s technical cooperation with its Asian partner would seriously and irreparably harm Siemens’ position in the market.
The ICC Arbitral Tribunal composed of German and Swiss legal experts, however, dismissed all claims of Siemens and expressly stated that AEN is free to use the formerly licensed Siemens technology worldwide without any limitations and to freely sub-license such technology to third parties including the right to sub-license the relevant patents.
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