Hanwha Q CELLS has filed patent infringement complaints with the Federal Court of Australia against JinkoSolar and LONGi Solar. This follows an announcement on March 5, 2019 that Hanwha Q CELLS filed patent infringement complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar and REC Group. Hanwha Q CELLS also entered complaints against JinkoSolar and REC Group in the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany.
The Federal Court complaints allege that JinkoSolar and LONGi Solar are importing and selling solar cells and modules that infringe Hanwha Q CELLS’s Australian patent rights. In particular, the complaints allege that JinkoSolar and LONGi Solar have incorporated Hanwha Q CELLS’s patented passivation technology — which plays an important role in improving the efficiency and performance of solar cells — into their solar cells. Hanwha Q CELLS seeks an order to stop JinkoSolar and LONGi Solar from importing, marketing and selling the infringing products in Australia.
“The products supplied by these two companies are using technology that we believe is protected by our Australian patent and 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,” said Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corp. “We are not prepared to tolerate the unauthorised distribution in Australia of products that incorporate our patented technology.”
The patent claims asserted by Hanwha Q CELLS are not restricted to any particular method of manufacture, such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) or plasma-enhanced chemical deposition (PECVD). Instead, the asserted claims of Australian patent No. 2008323025 (and its equivalents in the United States and Germany) are directed to a solar cell structure with a first dielectric layer including aluminum oxide and a second dielectric layer that contains hydrogen. The patented technology can be applied in many ways. A solar cell employing what is known as PERC technology is only one type of solar cells that may use technology covered by Australian patent No. 2008323025 and its global equivalents.
Last week, JinkoSolar, REC Group and LONGi Solar all announced they learned of the complaints via media reports. The three companies said business will continue as usual while more information becomes available around these lawsuit claims.
News item from Hanwha Q CELLS