Hanwha Q Cells sues rivals over sale of patent-infringing solar products

Image via Flickr/Joe Gratz (CC0 1.0)

March 5 (Renewables Now) - Korean photovoltaics (PV) manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells has taken legal actions against JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), Longi Solar and REC Group, claiming that these companies are unlawfully selling patent-infringing products.

Hanwha Q Cells & Advanced Materials Corp and its subsidiary Hanwha Q Cells USA Inc announced today they have filed a patent infringement complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against the above-mentioned rivals, while Hanwha Q Cells & Advanced Materials alone has also filed similar complaints with the US District Court for the District of Delaware. At the same time, Hanwha Q Cells GmbH has submitted such complaints with the Regional Court of Dusseldorf in Germany against JinkoSolar and REC Group.

The Korean group claims that this trio has unlawfully incorporated Hanwha Q Cells’ patented passivation technology into solar cells being imported and sold in the US and Germany. It asks the ITC to start an immediate investigation into the matter, halt imports of the infringing products and issue a permanent cease and desist order. In addition, it has filed a claim in the District Court to seek damages and injunctive relief.

Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim, CEO of Hanwha Q Cells & Advanced Materials, commented that the company will vigorously defend its technology from infringement. "The passivation technology at issue in these legal actions is critical to Hanwha Q Cells's plans for the future,” he stated.

The company has built a 1.7-GW factory in Dalton, Georgia, where it assembles its PV modules for sale in the US.

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