Q Cells wins patent infringement case against trio in Germany

Hanwha Q Cells' factory in Georgia. Source: Twitter (@gdecd)

June 18 (Renewables Now) - A German court has concluded that each of JinkoSolar GmbH, REC Solar EMEA GmbH and LONGi Solar Technologie GmbH have infringed the intellectual property (IP) rights of Hanwha Q Cells GmbH.

The Regional Court of Dusseldorf has ruled on June 6 that the trio has distributed in the local market certain solar modules that feature cells utilising a patented Q Cells technology, without having a licensing agreement for it. The announcement by Q Cells notes that opposition proceedings challenging the patent’s validity are still pending before the European Patent Office (EPO).

The court’s decision grants Q Cells a right to provisionally place restrictions on import and sales of the infringing products. The accused companies are legally obliged to recall said products distributed since January 30, 2019 from the distribution channels. Also, the court has granted a claim for destruction of patent-infringing products in possession of the three firms.

The decisions can be appealed to the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf.

In March 2019, South Korea’s Hanwha Q Cells filed patent infringement complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the US District Court for the District of Delaware, the Regional Court of Dusseldorf and eventually in Australia as well. The Korean photovoltaics (PV) manufacturer claims that its rivals have unlawfully incorporated its patented passivation technology into solar cells being imported and sold in the three countries.

Earlier this month, the US ITC made a final determination of non-infringement. In response to that, Q Cells’ chief technology officer Daniel Jeong stated today that the Korean company will bring the case to the court and make an appeal.

“Q Cells will continue to take all necessary actions including direct litigations as well as industry dialogues, if and when our rights are violated by another party in other regions,” Jeong noted.

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