Baker Hughes’ patent ownership dispute brought against the oil field services provider by Kenneth Wilson, Ph.D.


Bracewell LLP secured a jury trial victory on behalf of Baker Hughes Incorporated (Baker Hughes) in a patent ownership dispute brought against the oil field services provider by Kenneth Wilson, Ph.D.

In 2008, Baker Hughes hired innovation company PCDWorks to design a fully functional linear motor-based safety valve. In April 2011, Dr. Wilson., a former PCDWorks employee, conceived of the idea of using repelling magnets to open and close the safety valve while at his home. Baker Hughes sought to patent the technology in 2012, listing Dr. Wilson as the inventor on the patent. However, Dr. Wilson refused to assign his rights in the technology to Baker Hughes because he claimed he personally owned the technology.

The case was tried to a jury in the 152nd Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. On February 15, 2018, after a four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Baker Hughes and awarded the patent to Baker Hughes.

Baker Hughes, a GE Company provides oilfield products and services. The Company, led by Lorenzo Simonelli, Martin S Craighead and Brian Worrell, engages in surface logging, drilling, pipeline operations, petroleum engineering, and fertilizer solutions. In 2017, Baker Hughes recorded $17.259 Billion Revenues.

Bracewell successfully advised Baker Hughes with Richard F. Whiteley (Picture) and Timothy R. Geiger.

Involved fees earner: Richard Whiteley – Bracewell; Timothy Geiger – Bracewell;

Law Firms: Bracewell;

Clients: Baker Hughes Inc.;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti