Canadian Solar panels using shingled technology will not be sold in the U.S. market for seven years, after an agreement was reached between the company and Solaria. Solaria has agreed to terminate its patent infringement litigation against Canadian Solar in exchange for Canadian Solar ceasing distribution of its shingled solar modules in the United States.
Solaria first filed suit against Canadian Solar in March 2020, alleging that Canadian Solar stole Solaria’s U.S. patented process of separating PV strips from solar cells for use in “shingled” solar modules. Solaria first introduced Canadian Solar to its high-efficiency, high-density module (HDM) technology in 2014 when representatives of Canadian Solar evaluated Solaria’s next-generation shingling technology for a potential licensing deal. After further collaborations between the companies over the ensuing year, in which Solaria disclosed its proprietary technology and business strategies to Canadian Solar under an NDA, no deal was reached.
In an apparent reference to Solaria’s proprietary HDM technology, Canadian Solar launched its “HiDM” shingled modules in 2018 and began advertising and selling them in the United States. The modules were on the show floor at the 2019 Solar Power International. Solaria maintained that Canadian Solar’s HiDM shingled modules infringed Solaria’s patent.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in October 2021 that Canadian Solar did infringe on Solaria’s patent. Today’s announced settlement resolves all patent infringement disputes related to Solaria’s proprietary shingled solar module technology.
“Solaria initially filed suit against Canadian Solar because they chose to ignore and violate Solaria’s core intellectual property (IP). When rendering his Initial Determination in the ITC investigation, the Chief Administrative Law Judge recognized that Canadian Solar infringed Solaria’s patents,” said Solaria CEO Tony Alvarez. “Solaria remains open to cooperating with companies that recognize the value of Solaria’s IP; we’ve licensed Solaria’s technology to other firms in the industry. However, Solaria will actively defend our IP against any infringers, and protect our technology for ourselves and our valued partners.”