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July 26, 2007

Patents Ahoy

Transocean has a four-patent portfolio that constitutes a working rig. Having drilled GlobalSanteFe (GSF) for infringement a few years back, Transocean now aims its bit at Maersk Contractors.

The patents claim multiple-activity offshore drilling technology. 6,047,781; 6,056,071; 6,068,069; & 6,085,8511 comprise the asserted quartet.

Maersk is being hit for an ultra deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig it being built on contract in Singapore. Subsequently, Maersk got a contract for an estimated $696 million from Statoil Gulf of Mexico for using the rig for four years of drilling.

GSF got nailed with a $5.1 million judgment on willful infringement, and enjoined from further infringement for its rig. In February, GSF agreed to pay a one-time license fee of $12 million to keep its operations running. Just this week, Transocean and GSF announced plans to merge, thus creating a $53 billion corporate big rig that will reportedly be over twice the size, by number of rigs, to its next largest competitor, Noble. The combined Transocean company would boast a 146-rig fleet.

Transocean filed its complaint in the Southern District of Texas.

Posted by Patent Hawk at July 26, 2007 1:00 AM | Litigation


Monday, Transocean settled its patent enforcement action against competitor Noble. Noble took a license, pays a royalty, and all keep drilling away.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at July 31, 2007 2:48 PM