Electrical Business

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Generac genset control patent suit against Kohler breaks down


May 20, 2014
By Anthony Capkun

May 20, 2014 – Kohler Power Systems—a manufacturer of generators, transfer switches, paralleling switchgear and related accessories—announced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld an earlier court decision that a Generac patent was invalid, meaning Kohler did not infringe the patent.

This decision upholds an earlier judgment in favour of Kohler Co. from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Generac Power Systems Inc. v Kohler Company and Total Energy Systems LLC, in which a jury found Kohler did not infringe the patent and, further, that Generac’s patent was invalid based on earlier technology.

“We appreciate the Court of Appeals’ diligence in its review of the case and look forward to putting the matter behind us,” said Larry Bryce, president, Kohler Power Systems. “We are continuing to invest in product innovation that meets the needs of our residential and commercial customers to be prepared for power outages.”

The rulings stem from litigation initiated by Generac in 2011 against Kohler and its distributor TES, says Kohler, claiming infringement of a patent relating to control systems on gensets. Kohler manufactures standby generators with a control system for which Generac claimed patent protection.