Hanwha Q CELLS announced that they have filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") against JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar, and REC Group. Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corp. also filed related patent infringement complaints with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against the same companies. In Germany, Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH announced the filing of patent infringement complaints with the Regional Court of Dusseldorf against JinkoSolar and REC Group.
The ITC complaint alleges that JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar, and REC Group are unlawfully importing and selling solar cells and modules that infringe Hanwha Q CELLS's patented passivation technology. The complaint alleges that JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar, and REC Group have unlawfully incorporated this patented passivation 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. 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 those products in the U.S. Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corp. is also filing a claim in the District Court to seek damages and injunctive relief.
"Intellectual property laws exist to incentivize innovation and protect inventions from being unfairly used, and we will vigorously defend our technology from infringement," said Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim, Chief Executive Officer 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."
"The passivation technology at issue in these legal actions is critical to Hanwha Q CELLS's 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-gigawatt facility in Dalton, Georgia, dedicated to assembling Hanwha Q CELLS's 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."