Lawsuits of any kind are rarely open and shut cases. They require careful consideration, skilled negotiation strategic planning–and can drag on for years. Sometimes the defendant in one case may file a countersuit against the plaintiff. The reasons for filing a countersuit could include the belief that the company was wrongfully sued, to settle other business disputes, or as an attempt to reduce the potential costs of the initial lawsuit.
General Electric filed a lawsuit in a Texas district court in 2009, followed by another in 2010. The company claimed that Mitsubishi Heavy violated their patent rights even though the two companies had a contractual agreement to cross-license their products, specifically wind turbines. In response, Mitsubishi Heavy filed a countersuit in courts located in Arkansas and Florida in 2010. It is reported that the two companies recently settled the international business disputes. Both companies agreed not to release details of the settlement, but Mitsubishi said the financial impact of the settlement will be minor enough that it will not affect its earnings forecast.
Companies that face any type of business litigation can often avoid going to court by filing a countersuit and/or negotiating a settlement. Whether you are considering legal action for fraud, breach of contract or an intellectual property dispute, it is typically a good idea to seek advice from an attorney before proceeding. An attorney who is well versed with business litigation and commercial law can help you devise the best legal strategy based on the unique circumstances of your dispute.
Source: Bloomberg.com, “GE Turbine, InterDigital, Panthers: Intellectual Property,” Victoria Slind-Flor, Dec. 17, 2013