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AMSC says Chinese court denied Sinovel motion to move suit

NEW YORK - American Superconductor Corp., a US maker of wind turbine components, said a Chinese court denied a motion by Sinovel Wind Group Co. to transfer a lawsuit to arbitration.

The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court yesterday rejected a request from China’s largest wind turbine maker to move the case to the Beijing Arbitration Commission, Devens, Mass.-based AMSC said yesterday in a statement.

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AMSC says Sinovel, formerly its largest customer, violated sales contracts and stole intellectual property. The civil suit is one of three seeking more than $1.2 billion in damages. A provincial court on Feb. 3 dismissed the smallest case, which will be heard in arbitration.

“Sinovel is trying to get everything to go to arbitration and not be sued in a regular court, and in this case the court said no,’’ Theodore O’Neill, an analyst at Wunderlich Securities Inc. in New York, said yesterday. “It’s one for Sinovel, one for American Superconductor.’’

Yesterday’s ruling is for a software copyright infringement suit, seeking a cease and desist order and damages of $6 million. The decision could not be independently confirmed at this time.

The earlier ruling, by the Hainan Province No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, was for a copyright infringement case seeking $200,000 in damages.

AMSC shares fell 11 cents to $4.61.

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