By pv-tech.org-Jules Scully | pv-tech.org-Jules Scully | Updated: 2022-12-27
Trina Solar has said it will challenge a court decision in Germany that found the company has infringed patented technology from rival PV module manufacturer Qcells.
Qcells's parent company, Hanwha Solutions, announced today that a regional court in Germany found Trina Solar (Germany) to be infringing the German part of European Patent EP 2 220 689 B1 and issued a preliminary injunction.
Under the injunction, Trina Solar is prohibited from importing, marketing and selling the infringing products in Germany.
In a preliminary injunction request for alleged patent infringement filed in October, Hanwha Solutions alleged that that Trina Solar is unlawfully importing and selling solar modules in Germany that infringe a patent owned by the South Korean company.
The patent is for passivation technology developed by Qcells and commercialised as its proprietary Q.ANTUM technology, which Hanwha said plays a role in improving the efficiency and performance of silicon-based solar cells.
It is alleged in the preliminary injunction request that Trina Solar (Germany) – a subsidiary of China-headquartered Trina Solar – offers for sale in Germany solar modules in the Honey and Vertex X ranges that contain cells that infringe the patent in question.
In a statement sent to PV Tech, Trina Solar said it will "aggressively defend" its position and "not rest until the case has been dismissed", adding: "We do not agree with any allegations of patent infringement as the raised claims lack any legal grounds or justification."
The development comes after a regional court in Germany found in 2020 that three other module manufacturers – JinkoSolar, REC Solar and LONGi Solar – had unlawfully incorporated Qcells patented technology into their respective solar products. The three companies have appealed the court's judgement.
Last year Qcells filed patent infringement complaints in Germany against Astronergy, with a separate filing also made in France.