Hanwha Q Cells Co., a photovoltaic company, has filed patent infringement lawsuits against three foreign competitors. This is the first time that the company has filed patent infringement lawsuits against competitors. If and when the company wins the lawsuits, it will be able to get billions of dollars in damages.
Hanwha Q Cells said on March 6 that it has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Jinko Solar, Longi Solar and REC Group with U.S. and German courts. Jinko Solar and Longji Solar are Chinese solar power companies while REC Group is based in Norway.
Hanwha's patented technology in the litigation boosts power generation efficiency by forming protective film on the back side of a photovoltaic cell and reflects light passing through the photovoltaic cell back to the inside of the photovoltaic cell. This enables mass production of high efficiency solar cells.
Hanwha Q Cells developed this technology in 2008 and has produced highly efficient QANTUM solar cells using this technology since 2012. "We have developed and upgraded related technologies through continuous R&D and investment. We have also applied for and secured a number of related patents on them," a Hanwha Q Cell official said
The companies sued by Hanwha Q Cells this time have reportedly produced and sold products using the patented technology of Hanwha Q Cells since 2015. "We received opinions from outside experts who worked on the matter for a long time that Hanhwa Q Cells’ patented technology was used for the three companies’ products,” the official said. “The experts’ opinions prompted us to file the lawsuits against the three.”
In an official statement released on March 8, the company said, "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."