Leading 'Solar Module Super League' (SMSL) member JinkoSolar has been cleared of infringing on patents owned by Hanwha Q CELLS, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has stated.
In a final determination, Jinko said the US ITC said that an investigation cleared the module manufacturer of infringement on the so-called '215' patent belonging to Q CELLS.
In early March 2019, Q CELLS had initiated an ITC patent investigation against JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar and REC Group, which could later include a number of other PV cell and module manufacturers.
The highly contested 215 patent was at the centre of more than 20 years of R&D into, primarily, PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) technology and specifically passivation deposition technology used in Q CELLS 'Q.ANTUM' cells.
Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar noted, “We welcome this final decision from the ITC, confirming what we have known all along: our products do not infringe Hanwha's patent. From the start, we have believed that the case brought by Hanwha was legally and technically meritless and a transparent attempt to disrupt innovation and slow our momentum. The ALJ's decision confirms that Hanwha should never have brought this case in the first place. JinkoSolar is a true innovator, and this outcome validates our technology.”
Court cases insigated by Q CELLS remain outstanding in Germany and Australia.