Q CELLS files patent infringement complaint against Astronergy in Germany, another in France

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The complaint relates to Q CELLS’ ‘689’ patent, which has also been the subject of complaints against JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar and REC Solar. Image: Q CELLS.

South Korea-based solar module manufacturer Q CELLS has filed patent infringement complaints in Germany against Astronergy, with a separate filing also made in France.

In a statement issued yesterday, Q CELLS confirmed it had filed a complaint against Astronergy, part of the Chint Group, with the Regional Court of Düsseldorf on 12 March 2021.

A separate complaint was also filed with the High Court of Paris on 19 March 2021, however Q CELLS has confirmed it can not reveal the subject of this complaint at this time.

The new filings follow a ruling reached by the Regional Court of Düsseldorf last summer that three other solar module manufacturers, namely JinkoSolar, REC Solar and LONGi Solar, had unlawfully incorporated Q CELLS patented technology into their respective solar products.

All three companies have appealed against the court’s judgement, with an appeal set to be heard by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court next month.

The complaints link to Q CELLS’ EP 2 220 689 patent, which covers solar cell passivation techniques which can be used in Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) technology.

Q CELLS said the new complaints represented the company’s “strong willingness” to protect its technological innovations, adding that it would “take all possible pathways” to stop any infringement of its patents.

“Technological innovation has always been the core tenet of Q CELLS’ proud history for more than 20 years. Q CELLS believes these lawsuits will protect our intellectual property rights and contribute to establishing a healthy innovation landscape in the solar industry,” Daniel Jeong, CTO at Q CELLS, said.

PV Tech has approached Astronergy, part of the Chint Group, for comment.

This story has been amended to clarify that Q CELLS’ complaint against Astronergy has only been confirmed to have been made in Germany, and the subjects of the manufacturer’s complaint in France cannot be revealed at this time.

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