Tigo Energy Secures Overwhelming Legal Victory Protecting Innovation in U.S. Solar Industry
U.S. Patent Office rejects more than 80% of SunSpec Alliance patent challenges, helping Tigo protect solar industry R&D investments.
Tigo Energy, Inc., the solar industry's leading Flex MLPE (Module Level Power Electronics) supplier, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied a SunSpec Alliance challenge to the validity of Tigo U.S. Patent No. 8,933,321 in its entirety, as well as denying the organization's challenge to the validity of claims 14-16 of Tigo U.S. Patent No. 10,256,770. The Tigo patent claims upheld by the USPTO are relevant to the SunSpec Alliance Rapid Shutdown Specification. Rapid shutdown is a safety function for photovoltaic systems on buildings, designed to reduce the risk of electrical shock to emergency responders, and is mandated by building codes and regulatory bodies in the U.S. and in a rapidly growing number of countries around the world.
In its two IPR (inter partes review) filings from February, 2022, SunSpec Alliance challenged 11 claims in Tigo's '321 and '770 patents with the aspiration to show those claims as being invalid based on prior art. In the January, 2023 ruling, the USPTO overwhelmingly rejected the SunSpec Alliance IPRs by upholding nine of the Tigo patent claims it challenged. The ruling on the two other claims has no effect on the applicability of the 18 remaining claims in the '770 patent to the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown Specification.
"We welcome this ruling by the U.S. Patent Office, which not only demonstrates the value and strength of our IP portfolio, but also allows Tigo and the rest of the solar industry to continue bringing solar installers the high-quality equipment on which they rely," said Zvi Alon, chairman and CEO at Tigo Energy, Inc. "For many years, Tigo has deployed financial and human capital to develop novel technologies that deliver safe and reliable solutions for the solar industry. Our patents reflect the advancements and contributions we have made to solar. And as with previous patent challenges, Tigo will offer reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms to SunSpec Alliance members."
Tigo is a leader in rapid shutdown technology and MLPE with more than one hundred patents granted or pending. The Company has prevailed in a previous patent infringement litigation and presently has an open lawsuit which includes six patent infringement claims against SMA Solar Technology America LLC. Tigo has also licensed its patented technology to other solar equipment manufacturers. Millions of Tigo units are installed around the world, where they provide optimized, monitored, and safe solar to protect critical solar energy infrastructure and deliver consistent ROI for the lifetime of renewable energy systems.
For more information about the portfolio of Tigo Flex MLPE solutions, please visit https://www.tigoenergy.com/ts4, and keep up with the latest information by signing up for the Tigo newsletter here: https://www.tigoenergy.com/newsletter.
About Tigo Energy
Founded in 2007, Tigo is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of smart hardware and software solutions that enhance safety, increase energy yield, and lower operating costs of residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar systems. Tigo combines its Flex MLPE (Module Level Power Electronics) and solar optimizer technology with intelligent, cloud-based software capabilities for advanced energy monitoring and control. Tigo MLPE products maximize performance, enable real-time energy monitoring, and provide code-required rapid shutdown at the module level. The company also develops and manufactures products such as inverters and battery storage systems for the residential solar-plus-storage market. For more information, please visit www.tigoenergy.com.