JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar and REC Group seek US ‘215’ patent review of Q CELLS litigation

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
JinkoSolar and REC jointly filed an IPR petition on June 6, 2019, while LONGi Solar filed a separate IPR petition on May 13, 2019. The main focus of both petitions were claims that the 215 patent was invalid due to prior art. Image: PV Tech

PV manufacturers JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar and REC Group have recently filed petitions for inter partes review (IPR) of U.S. Patent No. 9,893,215 B2 [215] with the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in response to Hanwha Q CELLS patent infringement cases announced in early March, 2019.

JinkoSolar and REC jointly filed an IPR petition on June 6, 2019, while LONGi Solar filed a separate IPR petition on May 13, 2019. The main focus of both petitions were claims that the 215 patent was invalid due to prior art.

According to Hanwha Q CELLS the 215 patent was infringed by its rivals, due to the solar cell structure having a first dielectric layer including aluminum oxide and a second dielectric layer containing hydrogen within specific nanometre thicknesses detailed in the patent. Such structures are used in PERC cells, amongst other advanced cell architectures. 

“The inter partes review process is an important safeguard against poor quality patents that suppress innovation in the market.  Hanwha Q CELLS' assertion of the '215 patent against its competitors is technically unfounded and threatens to stifle the industry's transition to grid parity solar, driving up  electricity prices for homeowners, businesses, and utilities,” said Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar.  “Additionally, the fact that all three respondents in the ITC action challenge the validity of this single patent on multiple, independent grounds, further demonstrates the weakness of Hanwha's case.”

“As an innovator and leader in the solar industry,” said Steve O'Neil, CEO of REC Group, “REC values the importance of protecting intellectual property and views the patent system as an important tool for encouraging innovation; Hanwha Q CELLS, however, seeks to misuse this system to compete in the courts rather than the U.S. market.   We believe that the '215 patent is invalid and Hanwha Q CELLS' allegations of infringement are unjustified.  As shown by our joint IPR filing, REC will continue to defend itself vigorously against Hanwha Q CELLS' meritless claims.”

Hanwha Q CELLS filed patent infringement cases related to the 215 patent in the US, Germany and Australia, which are currently on stay. 

However, Hanwha Q CELLS also filed a case with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which is not effected by the court stay’s or the US IPR’s from JinkoSolar/REC Group and LONGi Solar. 

Read Next

June 18, 2021
Horizon Power and PXiSE Energy Solutions have successfully powered the Australian town of Onslow with completely renewable energy, demonstrating the potential of microgrid technology
PV Tech Premium
June 16, 2021
As more traditional PERC cells and modules reach their limitations, Seraphim president Polaris Li discusses his company’s strategy for what he dubs the ‘post-PERC’ era of solar PV.
June 15, 2021
The confidence of renewable energy investors and developers stands at an “all-time high”, a new report by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) claims, however investment must surge in the coming years if the US is to meet decarbonisation goals.
June 15, 2021
PV Tech’s Carrie Xiao provides an extensive overview of the solar modules on display at this year’s SNEC PV Power Expo in Shanghai, comparing all of the major product launches, exhibitions and technologies that took centre stage.
June 15, 2021
Everwood Capital and the Prodiel Group have combined to create DVP Solar, a joint-venture (JV) focused on developing large-scale international photovoltaic projects, with gigawatts at various stages of development.
June 10, 2021
Queensland will invest AU$2 billion (US$1.55 billion) on renewables and hydrogen jobs to support the Australian state’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and help it deliver on its 50% clean energy target by 2030.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021