A patent infringement complaint filed by Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH in
March 2019 to the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany has been
upheld. The Court has found that JinkoSolar GmbH, REC Solar EMEA GmbH
and LONGi Solar Technologie GmbH breached Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH’s
intellectual property rights by unlawfully incorporating its patented
passivation technology into their solar cells.
PVTIME - Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH (“Q CELLS”), a globally renowned solar technology leader and total energy solutions provider, confirms that the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany has upheld the company’s patent infringement complaint filed on March 4, 2019, finding that JinkoSolar GmbH (“JinkoSolar“), REC Solar EMEA GmbH (“REC”), and LONGi Solar Technologie GmbH (“LONGi Solar”) unlawfully incorporated
patented technology into specific solar products of the respective
brands. The lawsuit charged that the three companies have infringed the
German part of European Patent EP 2 220 689 (‘689 patent), which
protects a unique passivation technology also used in Q.ANTUM – a
technology for significantly increasing the efficiency of solar cells.
June 16, the German Court concluded that JinkoSolar, REC and LONGi
Solar have distributed certain solar modules in Germany that contain
solar cells which use technology covered by the ‘689 patent, without a
prior license agreement with Q CELLS. These companies have therefore
infringed Q CELLS’ intellectual property rights by offering, selling and
importing infringing products into Germany. As a result of the Court’s
decision, Q CELLS is granted a right to enforce the injunction
provisionally, including restrictions on import and sales of the
infringing products of the respective brands. The decision of the court
is provisionally enforceable upon Q CELLS provision of a security. The
court ruled that the accused companies are legally obliged to take
measures to recall the patent-infringing products distributed since
January 30, 2019 from the distribution channels. In addition, the court
granted a claim for destruction of patent-infringing products in
possession of JinkoSolar, REC and LONGi Solar.
Q CELLS began
researching PERC-based cell technologies back in 2008 which led to the
development of its Q.ANTUM technology that uses this patent-protected
passivation technology. Q CELLS began mass-manufacturing Q.ANTUM solar
cells as early as 2012, and has since produced more than 3 billion such
solar cells globally. Q.ANTUM technology marks
one of many technological milestones reached by Q CELLS through its continuously extensive investment in genuine technology research and product development.
Daniel Jeong, CTO of Q CELLS, said: “We are pleased that the Regional
Court of Düsseldorf has confirmed what we knew to be true all along. As
we eagerly stressed when we filed the lawsuit in 2019, intellectual
property laws exist to incentivize innovation and protectthose
innovations from being unfairly used. The protection of intellectual
property rights is of foremost importance for our fast-evolving solar
industry to ensure continued development of breakthrough technological
“Q CELLS stands proud of our legacy of innovation
and leadership in the photovoltaic industry. We took these actions in
good faith to protect our property rights and uphold industry confidence
that time- and capital-intensive R&D efforts will be protected.
Without enforcement of IP laws, the solar industry cannot meet the high
expectations commercial customers have around the world of PV as an
affordable, clean and – most of all – reliable source of energy. As a
total energy solutions provider Q CELLS values solar’s reputation and
importance in the world far too much to not vigorously defend it.”
added, “Also, we cannot ignore the possibility that the accused
companies might have applied the ‘689 patent to their other products.
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. With regards to the recent
U.S. ITC decision on patent infringement complaint, Q CELLS will bring
the case to the court and make an appeal.”
proceedings challenging the patent’s validity are still pending before
the European Patent Office (EPO), the Düsseldorf Court found EP’689
infringed by the solar products of LONGi Solar, JinkoSolar and REC. The
decisions can be appealed to the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf.
a next step following the decision of the Regional Court in Düsseldorf,
Q CELLS will actively consider all possible pathways forward in order
to devise meaningful solutions in the best interests of the company as
well as a healthy innovation landscape in the solar industry.