The Court of Appeal of The Hague in the Netherlands has confirmed the scope and target of the recall order imposed on the Dutch unit of Chinese solar modules manufacturer Longi Solar as a result of the outcome of its legal dispute with rival Qcells.
The latest decision relates back to the court’s judgment in preliminary injunction proceedings that prohibits Longi (Netherlands) Trading BV, or Longi NL, from directly and indirectly infringing a particular patent in 11 European countries where Qcells’ parent, Hanwha Solutions Corporation, is the registered owner. These countries are Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Austria, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Switzerland.
The Hague Court of Appeal had ordered Longi NL to send a recall letter to its customers in the aforementioned countries, whether resellers, installers, project developers or solar park operators, and request that they return the patent-infringing products sold by it. Longi NL eventually appealed the ruling and sought to establish that its recall obligations are only applicable to products held in stock for future sales, but to no avail.
Qcells has been in a legal battle with Longi since March 2019, when it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the Chinese firm, Norway’s REC and JinkoSolar in both Germany and the US, and subsequently in Australia.
The Korean solar panel maker said in a statement today that it will continue to closely observe Longi NL and the actions of its customers in said countries, and, if needed, resort to further legal measures.
“As an industry leader, Qcells will set exemplary standards by monitoring not only Europe but also the entire global market and taking all necessary actions, whether they be legal or practical, to prevent unlawful actions that amount to or induce infringement of Qcells’ patent,” commented Moon-Hwan Cha, managing director of Hanwha Qcells GmbH.
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!