Global solar module manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS has filed patent infringement complaints against JinkoSolar, REC Group and LONGi Solar.
Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH filed a patent infringement complaint with the Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Germany, against JinkoSolar and REC Group. In addition, Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corp. and Hanwha Q CELLS USA Inc. filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against JinkoSolar, REC Group and LONGi Solar. Lastly, Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corp. filed related patent infringement complaints with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against the three companies.
The complaints allege JinkoSolar, REC Group and LONGi are unlawfully importing and selling solar cells and modules that infringe Hanwha Q CELLS’ patented passivation technology.
Hanwha Q CELLS claims that the companies have unlawfully incorporated this technology – which plays an important role in improving the efficiency and performance of solar cells – into their solar cells. Hanwha Q CELLS began manufacturing Q.ANTUM solar cells using this passivation technology in 2012 and has produced more than 2.5 billion such cells globally, the company says.
For the German complaint, Hanwha Q CELLS seeks an order to stop JinkoSolar and REC Group from importing, marketing and selling the infringing products in Germany. For the ITC complaint, Hanwha Q CELLS seeks an immediate investigation by the ITC; an exclusion order to halt the importation of infringing products; and a permanent cease and desist order to stop the respondents from importing, marketing and selling these products in the U.S. Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corp. is filing a claim in the district court to seek damages and injunctive relief.
“Intellectual property laws exist to incentivize innovation and protect innovations from being unfairly used, and we will vigorously defend our technology from infringement,” says Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim, CEO of Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corp. “Our high-quality photovoltaic products have established us as an industry leader, and we are proud of our legacy of innovation. We have taken these actions both to protect our property rights and to give the market confidence that research and development initiatives to develop future technologies can continue.”
Kim continues, “The passivation technology at issue in these legal actions is critical to Hanwha Q CELLS’ plans for the future. Our high-efficiency modules rely on this patented technology and set us apart from competitors. We have built a new 1.7 GW facility in Dalton, Ga., dedicated to assembling Hanwha Q CELLS’ modules for sale in the United States, and we look forward to a long relationship with the Dalton community. This is the largest factory of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and reflects our commitment to the United States and the important markets here. We believe that the legal actions we have taken in the United States and Germany will effectively protect our ability to innovate and reinforce our reputation as a leading supplier of high-quality products and a trusted business partner to our customers.”