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GE Sues Siemens Energy over Trade Secrets, Lost Contracts

Jan. 20, 2021
The suit contends that the Siemens spin-off illicitly obtained cost and performance data from General Electric’s bid for an industrial gas turbine installation – costing GE hundreds of millions in new business.

General Electric Co. is suing rival Siemens Energy AG, alleging that Siemens Energy illicitly obtained GE trade secrets and used that information to win orders for industrial gas turbines totaling more than $1 billion since May 2019. Siemens Energy is the former Siemens AG business unit spun off as an independent company last September.

GE is requesting the U.S. district court in Virginia to block Siemens from using the information in question, and to pay damages totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

In detail, GE alleges that a senior employee of Dominion Energy – a Virginia-based electric utility – sent confidential information on GE turbine systems, including cost and performance data for four different gas turbine models, as well as proposals for service and maintenance, which GE had provided as part of its contract bid. That same employee also provided Siemens with Dominion’s evaluation of all the bids received for the business. GE’s suit contends that this gave Siemens a pattern which it followed to win up to $340 million in business from Dominion.

Siemens won the Dominion Energy order over GE in July 2019, without explanation, according to GE.

Since it received the illicit information in May 2019, the suit contends, Siemens has bested GE for eight more orders for gas turbine projects, valued at more than $1 billion. And, GE now alleges it has been put at a disadvantage in competing for future contracts worth at least $120 million each.

Siemens Energy has not denied the details alleged by GE, but a spokesman reported the company identified the use of the illicit information using its own internal investigations. This led to Siemens Energy disclosing the details to Dominion Energy and GE.

Siemens Energy also claims it implemented remedial measures in response to the discovery, firing and/or disciplining the employees involved, removing the information in question from all its systems, and providing additional compliance training for all its U.S. employees.

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