AMSC Filing Criminal and Civil Complaints Against Sinovel

Sep 14, 2011
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DEVENS, Mass., Sep 14, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC), a global power technologies company, today announced that it 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. Based in part upon evidence obtained through the investigations, AMSC believes that Sinovel illegally obtained and used AMSC's intellectual property to upgrade its 1.5 megawatt 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.

AMSC is seeking to compel Sinovel and the other parties to cease and desist from infringing its intellectual property and is also seeking monetary damages to compensate AMSC for its economic losses resulting from the infringement. AMSC also has filed a claim for arbitration to compel Sinovel to pay AMSC for past product shipments and to accept all contracted but not yet delivered core electrical components and spare parts under all existing contracts with the Company. The arbitration claim was filed with the Beijing Arbitration Commission in accordance with the terms of AMSC's supply contracts with Sinovel.

Additional information about the legal actions is contained in the Current Report on Form 8-K that AMSC is filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. AMSC is now operating its business based on the assumption that Sinovel will not be a customer.

"We are taking legal action against Sinovel based on its contractual breaches and strong evidence of its criminal misconduct," said AMSC President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel McGahn. "These actions send a clear message that AMSC is enforcing its intellectual property and commercial contracts."

Conference Call Notice

AMSC management will participate in a conference call with investors beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on September 15. On this call, management will discuss the company's legal actions against Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd. Those who wish to listen to the live conference call webcast should visit the "Investors" section of the company's website at www.amsc.com/investors. The live call also can be accessed by dialing 719-325-2359 and using conference ID 5548126. A telephonic playback of the call will be available from 1:00 pm ET on September 15 through 1:00 pm ET through September 22. Please call 719-457-0820 and refer to conference ID 5548126 to access the playback.

About American Superconductor (NASDAQ: AMSC)

AMSC offers an array of proprietary technologies and solutions spanning the electric power infrastructure - from generation to delivery to end use. The company is a leader in renewable energy, providing proven, megawatt-scale wind turbine designs and electrical control systems. The company also offers a host of Smart Grid technologies for power grid operators that enhance the reliability, efficiency and capacity of the grid, and seamlessly integrate renewable energy sources into the power infrastructure. These include superconductor power cable systems, grid-level surge protectors and power electronics-based voltage stabilization systems. AMSC's technologies are protected by a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents and licenses worldwide. More information is available at www.amsc.com.

American Superconductor and design, Revolutionizing the Way the World Uses Electricity, AMSC, Powered by AMSC, Amperium, D-VAR, dSVC, FaultBlocker, PowerModule, PowerPipelines, PQ-IVR, PQ-SVC, SeaTitan, SuperGEAR and Windtec and design are trademarks or registered trademarks of American Superconductor Corporation or its subsidiaries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

Any statements in this release about future expectations, plans and prospects for the company, including without limitation our expectations regarding the legal actions against Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd., ("Sinovel"), the operation of its business on the assumption that Sinovel will not be a customer and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will" and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are a number of important factors that could materially impact the value of our common stock or cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements.Such factors include: a significant portion of our revenues has been derived from Sinovel, which has stopped accepting scheduled deliveries and refused to pay amounts outstanding; the disruption in our relationship with Sinovel has materially and adversely affected our business and results of operations and if, as we expect, Sinovel continues to refuse to accept shipments from us, our business and results of operations will be further materially and adversely affected; we will require significant additional funding and may be unable to raise capital when needed, which could force us to delay, reduce or eliminate planned activities, including the planned acquisition of The Switch Engineering Oy ("The Switch"); we have a history of operating losses, and we may incur additional losses in the future; our operating results may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and may fall below expectations in any particular fiscal quarter; if we fail to complete the planned acquisition of The Switch, our operating results and financial condition could be harmed and the price of our common stock could decline; completion of the planned acquisition of The Switch could present certain risks to our business; adverse changes in domestic and global economic conditions could adversely affect our operating results; changes in exchange rates could adversely affect our results from operations; we have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting and if we fail to remediate these weaknesses and maintain proper and effective internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired and may lead investors and other users to lose confidence in our financial data; if we fail to implement our business strategy successfully, our financial performance could be harmed; we may not realize all of the sales expected from our backlog of orders and contracts; many of our revenue opportunities are dependent upon subcontractors and other business collaborators; our products face intense competition, which could limit our ability to acquire or retain customers; our success is dependent upon attracting and retaining qualified personnel and our inability to do so could significantly damage our business and prospects; we may acquire additional complementary businesses or technologies, which may require us to incur substantial costs for which we may never realize the anticipated benefits; our international operations are subject to risks that we do not face in the United States, which could have an adverse effect on our operating results; we depend on sales to customers in China, and global conditions could negatively affect our operating results or limit our ability to expand our operations outside of China; changes in China's political, social, regulatory and economic environment may affect our financial performance; many of our customer relationships outside of the United States are, either directly or indirectly, with governmental entities, and we could be adversely affected by violations of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws outside the United States; we rely upon third party suppliers for the components and subassemblies of many of our Wind and Grid products, making us vulnerable to supply shortages and price fluctuations, which could harm our business; we are becoming increasingly reliant on contracts that require the issuance of performance bonds; problems with product quality or product performance may cause us to incur warranty expenses and may damage our market reputation and prevent us from achieving increased sales and market share; our success in addressing the wind energy market is dependent on the manufacturers that license our designs; growth of the wind energy market depends largely on the availability and size of government subsidies and economic incentives; there are a number of technological challenges that must be successfully addressed before our superconductor products can gain widespread commercial acceptance, and our inability to address such technological challenges could adversely affect our ability to acquire customers for our products; we have not manufactured our Amperium wire in commercial quantities, and a failure to manufacture our Amperium wire in commercial quantities at acceptable cost and quality levels would substantially limit our future revenue and profit potential; the commercial uses of superconductor products are limited today, and a widespread commercial market for our products may not develop; we have limited experience in marketing and selling our superconductor products and system-level solutions, and our failure to effectively market and sell our products and solutions could lower our revenue and cash flow; our contracts with the U.S. government are subject to audit, modification or termination by the U.S. government and include certain other provisions in favor of the government; the continued funding of such contracts remains subject to annual congressional appropriation which, if not approved, could reduce our revenue and lower or eliminate our profit; we may be unable to adequately prevent disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information; we have filed a demand for arbitration and other lawsuits against Sinovel regarding amounts we contend are due and owing and are in dispute; we cannot be certain as to the outcome of the proceedings against Sinovel; we have been named as a party to purported stockholder class actions and shareholder derivative complaints, and we may be named in additional litigation, all of which will require significant management time and attention, result in significant legal expenses and may result in an unfavorable outcome, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition; our technology and products could infringe intellectual property rights of others, which may require costly litigation and, if we are not successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages and disrupt our business; our patents may not provide meaningful protection for our technology, which could result in us losing some or all of our market position; third parties have or may acquire patents that cover the materials, processes and technologies we use or may use in the future to manufacture our Amperium products, and our success depends on our ability to license such patents or other proprietary rights; and our common stock has experienced, and may continue to experience, significant market price and volume fluctuations, which may prevent our stockholders from selling our common stock at a profit and could lead to costly litigation against us that could divert our management's attention.Reference is made to many of these factors and others in the "Risk Factors" section of the company's most recent quarterly or annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements included in this release represent the company's expectations as of the date of this release. While the company anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause the company's views to change, the company specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.

SOURCE: American Superconductor Corporation

American Superconductor Corporation
Jason Fredette, 978-842-3177
jfredette@amsc.com