Transocean, Noble to enter patent infringement battle


Transocean has filed a complaint of patent infringement against fellow rig builder Noble Corp. in a Houston court, accusing Noble of infringing upon Transocean’s “dual-activity” technology. However, Noble is standing its ground, and says it disagrees with this lawsuit.

Transocean is claiming that Noble constructed five of its drillships: the Bob Douglas, Don Taylor, Globetrotter I, Sam Croft, and Tom Madden; using dual-activity technology, which Transocean had patented on 9 March 2004.

The technology, Transocean says, saves time and money in drilling offshore wells.

The company, demanding a trial by jury, claims that it has been damaged by Noble, and has accused Noble of being aware of its patents and “willfully committed acts of infringement.”

In a statement to OE, Noble says it is aware of the action taken by Transocean.

“We disagree with their contention and will defend our position,” says Noble VP of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Jeff Chastain.

The patents were originally filed between 11 April 2000 and 11 July 2000, and were then “assigned” to Transocean in March 2004.

Noble’s rigs named in the lawsuit have dayrates that range from US$275,000, up to $643,000, and have been under contracts with Anadarko and supermajor Shell, among others.

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