Pacific Drilling S.A. (NYSE: PACD) announced today that it became aware that Transocean (NYSE: RIG) has filed a complaint of patent infringement against Pacific Drilling in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
The suit concerns dual activity patents of Transocean which are also subject of pending actions in the US against Maersk Drilling and Stena Drilling. The foreign counterparts to these patents have been invalidated in other various jurisdictions around the world, including Norway and Korea. The US appellate process with regard to the action against Maersk has not been exhausted, and the action against Stena has yet to go to trial.
“We have not conducted dual activity operations in the US Gulf of Mexico, as the challenges to the validity of the patents have not yet been finally adjudicated,” commented CEO, Chris Beckett. “We are aware that Transocean has filed a lawsuit but we have not been served. We think this action is an attempt to pressure us into taking a license before the validity of the patents is finally adjudicated. We do not anticipate this claim will have an impact on our operations outside the US Gulf of Mexico.”
Pacific Drilling retained the Houston office of Winston & Strawn LLP to defend it against the claim.