The Regional Court of Düsseldorf grants Hanwha Solutions’ application for a preliminary injunction for patent infringement against Trina Solar
Parent company of Qcells successfully alleges in preliminary injunction proceedings to German court that Trina Solar GmbH is unlawfully importing and selling solar modules in Germany that infringe Qcells’ patented technology.
[Berlin, Germany, December 22, 2022] Hanwha Solutions Corporation - the parent company of Qcells - can confirm that on December 15, 2022, the Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Germany, found Trina Solar (Germany) GmbH to be infringing the German part of European Patent EP 2 220 689 B1 (Patent ‘689) and issued a preliminary injunction. Under the injunction, Trina Solar is prohibited from importing, marketing, and selling the infringing products in Germany. The enforcement of the preliminary injunction requires the provision of security in the amount of EUR 500,000 which Hanwha Solutions is in the process of providing.
In the request with the Regional Court, it alleges that Trina Solar is unlawfully importing and selling solar modules in Germany that infringe a patent owned by Hanwha Solutions. The patent is for passivation technology developed by Qcells and commercialized as its proprietary Q.ANTUM Technology, which plays an important role in improving the efficiency and performance of silicon-based solar cells.
It is alleged in the preliminary injunction request that Trina Solar (Germany) GmbH - a subsidiary of the Chinese-headquartered solar company Trina Solar Co., Ltd - offers for sale in Germany solar modules in the product groups ‘Honey' and ‘Vertex X' that contain solar cells that infringe the Patent ‘689.
With the judgement, the Regional Court acknowledges Hanwha Solutions' allegations and issues a preliminary injunction to stop Trina Solar from infringing the patent by importing the infringing products, distributing them and offering them for sale. Hanwha Solutions will provide the requested security to enforce the preliminary injunction. Trina Solar may oppose the preliminary injunction to the Higher Regional Court and/ or request the conduct of main proceedings to challenge the decision before it becomes final and binding. However, Hanwha Solutions is optimistic that the decision will stand.
Moon-Hwan Cha, managing director of Hanwha Qcells GmbH, said: "Qcells' enduring spirit to develop completely clean energy solutions for the globe is contingent upon a solar industry that is able to robustly protect its property rights.
"A growing number of countries now place PV at the heart of their energy systems, which is why it is more vital than ever that property rights are respected and R&D departments are confident that their work and initiatives are properly protected.
"Qcells is proud of its legacy of technological innovation, and we will vigorously defend our technology from infringement using the intellectual property laws that exist for this purpose."
In March 2019, Hanwha Qcells filed patent infringement complaints at the Regional Court of Düsseldorf against Jinko Solar and REC Group. Shortly afterwards, a similar lawsuit was filed against Longi Solar, each alleging unlawful incorporation of Qcells' patented passivation technology. In June 2020, the Regional Court found that all three defendants had infringed the German part of the patent ‘689. Appeal proceedings are pending.
The validity of the patent ‘689 was challenged. Yet, the European Patent Office upheld the patent with only minor amendments and thus confirmed the validity of the patent as it has been asserted against Trina Solar GmbH. The decision of the European Patent Court can be appealed to the Board of Appeal.
Qcells is one of the world's leading clean energy companies, recognized for its established reputation as a manufacturer of high-performance, high-quality solar cells and modules, portfolio of intelligent storage systems, and growing international pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects. Qcells also provides renewable electricity retail services and packages to end customers the world over. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea (Global Executive HQ) and Thalheim, Germany (Technology & Innovation HQ) with its diverse international manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Malaysia, China, and South Korea. Qcells offers Completely Clean Energy through the full spectrum of photovoltaic products, storage solutions, renewable electricity contracting and large-scale solar power plants. Through its growing global business network spanning Europe, North America, Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East, Qcells provides excellent services and long-term partnerships to its customers in the utility, commercial, governmental and residential markets. For more information, visit: www.q-cells.eu