LONGi Solar follows fellow solar panel companies JinkoSolar and REC Group with a response to reports that Hanwha Q CELLS has filed patent infringement lawsuits against the three companies in U.S. courts. All three companies have said they learned about the lawsuits through media reports.
“At this time, LONGi has not received any legal case documents about the complaints, nor any official business negotiation correspondence from Hanwha Q CELLS on this matter before this event,” LONGi Solar said in a statement.
LONGi said it has always attached great importance to technology innovations and respect for intellectual properties. Presently, the company owns more than 1,000 patents and patent applications in key photovoltaic technologies. LONGi’s PERC cells, which is the technology in question under the alleged Hanwha Q CELLS lawsuits, have repeatedly earned world records in cell efficiencies — one record as recently as January 2019.
After analyzing media reports, LONGi said, “the patent family used by Hanwha Q CELLS in the complaint is acquired through multiple transfers and transactions from other research institutes…From a technical perspective, the current technology used in LONGi’s products is not the same as the technology contained in the disputed patents — the disputed patents are about ALD technology while LONGi uses PECVD technology.”
LONGi, Jinko and REC have said business will continue as usual while more information becomes available around these lawsuit claims.
March 8, 2019 update
Official statement from Hanwha Q CELLS:
“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 vapor deposition (PECVD). The infringement claims relating to the ‘215 patent are directed to 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 Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) technology is only one type of solar cell that may use technology covered by the ‘215 patent.
While Hanwha Q CELLS believes it is important to clarify these factual issues, it does not intend to litigate this dispute in the media or to comment further on the substantive legal issues in the case. We look forward to proving our claims in court.”