The 'cash for code' affair

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Adam Barber
October 3, 2011
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
The 'cash for code' affair

There’s something interesting that’s fallen out of the (very) public spat played out between AMSC and Sinovel over the ‘cash for code affair’, in September.

To recap on what happened, AMSC sued a former employee over selling secrets to the Chinese – something that’s never going to exactly win you favours with the boss.

The deal the chap struck with Sinovel was supposed to secure him a five-year $1m contract, in return for an encrypted license code that kept the turbines turning. However, the plot soon fell apart following a routine site inspection to Sinovel turbines that were, of course, still spinning. The result was a jail sentence for the (now) ex employee and an ongoing legal battle between AMSC and Sinovel to try to claw the code, and the missing license revenue, back.

However, to my mind, the really interesting element is not the specifics of this deal at all but rather, what it all means for a) the degree to which intellectual patents will be respected and honoured and b) the increasing role that technology is set to play within this large-scale engineering environment.

Indeed, with the likes of IBM and others already starting to tout their wares and enter the fray, I’d hazard a guess that when it comes to the ownership and use of software, technological coding and intellectual IP in wind energy, the AMSC/Sinovel spat is just the start.

There’s something interesting that’s fallen out of the (very) public spat played out between AMSC and Sinovel over the ‘cash for code affair’, in September.

To recap on what happened, AMSC sued a former employee over selling secrets to the Chinese – something that’s never going to exactly win you favours with the boss.

The deal the chap struck with Sinovel was supposed to secure him a five-year $1m contract, in return for an encrypted license code that kept the turbines turning. However, the plot soon fell apart following a routine site inspection to Sinovel turbines that were, of course, still spinning. The result was a jail sentence for the (now) ex employee and an ongoing legal battle between AMSC and Sinovel to try to claw the code, and the missing license revenue, back.

However, to my mind, the really interesting element is not the specifics of this deal at all but rather, what it all means for a) the degree to which intellectual patents will be respected and honoured and b) the increasing role that technology is set to play within this large-scale engineering environment.

Indeed, with the likes of IBM and others already starting to tout their wares and enter the fray, I’d hazard a guess that when it comes to the ownership and use of software, technological coding and intellectual IP in wind energy, the AMSC/Sinovel spat is just the start.

There’s something interesting that’s fallen out of the (very) public spat played out between AMSC and Sinovel over the ‘cash for code affair’, in September.

To recap on what happened, AMSC sued a former employee over selling secrets to the Chinese – something that’s never going to exactly win you favours with the boss.

The deal the chap struck with Sinovel was supposed to secure him a five-year $1m contract, in return for an encrypted license code that kept the turbines turning. However, the plot soon fell apart following a routine site inspection to Sinovel turbines that were, of course, still spinning. The result was a jail sentence for the (now) ex employee and an ongoing legal battle between AMSC and Sinovel to try to claw the code, and the missing license revenue, back.

However, to my mind, the really interesting element is not the specifics of this deal at all but rather, what it all means for a) the degree to which intellectual patents will be respected and honoured and b) the increasing role that technology is set to play within this large-scale engineering environment.

Indeed, with the likes of IBM and others already starting to tout their wares and enter the fray, I’d hazard a guess that when it comes to the ownership and use of software, technological coding and intellectual IP in wind energy, the AMSC/Sinovel spat is just the start.

There’s something interesting that’s fallen out of the (very) public spat played out between AMSC and Sinovel over the ‘cash for code affair’, in September.

To recap on what happened, AMSC sued a former employee over selling secrets to the Chinese – something that’s never going to exactly win you favours with the boss.

The deal the chap struck with Sinovel was supposed to secure him a five-year $1m contract, in return for an encrypted license code that kept the turbines turning. However, the plot soon fell apart following a routine site inspection to Sinovel turbines that were, of course, still spinning. The result was a jail sentence for the (now) ex employee and an ongoing legal battle between AMSC and Sinovel to try to claw the code, and the missing license revenue, back.

However, to my mind, the really interesting element is not the specifics of this deal at all but rather, what it all means for a) the degree to which intellectual patents will be respected and honoured and b) the increasing role that technology is set to play within this large-scale engineering environment.

Indeed, with the likes of IBM and others already starting to tout their wares and enter the fray, I’d hazard a guess that when it comes to the ownership and use of software, technological coding and intellectual IP in wind energy, the AMSC/Sinovel spat is just the start.

There’s something interesting that’s fallen out of the (very) public spat played out between AMSC and Sinovel over the ‘cash for code affair’, in September.

To recap on what happened, AMSC sued a former employee over selling secrets to the Chinese – something that’s never going to exactly win you favours with the boss.

The deal the chap struck with Sinovel was supposed to secure him a five-year $1m contract, in return for an encrypted license code that kept the turbines turning. However, the plot soon fell apart following a routine site inspection to Sinovel turbines that were, of course, still spinning. The result was a jail sentence for the (now) ex employee and an ongoing legal battle between AMSC and Sinovel to try to claw the code, and the missing license revenue, back.

However, to my mind, the really interesting element is not the specifics of this deal at all but rather, what it all means for a) the degree to which intellectual patents will be respected and honoured and b) the increasing role that technology is set to play within this large-scale engineering environment.

Indeed, with the likes of IBM and others already starting to tout their wares and enter the fray, I’d hazard a guess that when it comes to the ownership and use of software, technological coding and intellectual IP in wind energy, the AMSC/Sinovel spat is just the start.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.