American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) is taking a series of legal actions against Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. (Sinovel).

AMSC is filing criminal and civil complaints in China against Sinovel and other parties alleging the illegal use of AMSC’s intellectual property. These cases follow an intensive investigation conducted by both AMSC and law enforcement, said AMSC.

Under its claim with the Beijing Arbitration Commission, AMSC accuses Sinovel of illegally obtained and using its intellectual property to upgrade its 1.5 MW wind turbines in the field to meet proposed Chinese grid codes and to potentially allow for the use of core electrical components from other manufacturers.

Sinovel has been AMSC’s largest customer – accounting for nearly three quarters of its revenue – but the Chinese wind giant in April refused to accept further shipments until it had reduced its inventory levels and refused to pay for some shipments, according to AMSC.

Analysts had interpreted Sinovel’s move as a response to supply outstripping demand in China’s wind market.

AMSC has filed a claim to compel Sinovel to pay for past product shipments and to accept all contracted but not yet delivered core electrical components and spare parts under all existing contracts.

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