Astronergy is Being Sued by Q CELLS for Patent Infringement

Hanwha Q Cells, a South Korean photovoltaic modules maker, has filed yet another patent infringement complaint in Düsseldorf Regional Court, this time targeting Astronergy Solarmodule GmbH.

Q CELLS confirmed in a statement released yesterday that it had submitted a lawsuit against Astronergy, a subsidiary of the Chint Group, with the Regional Court of Düsseldorf on March 12, 2021. A separate complaint was filed with the French Federal Court of Justice a week later.

The lawsuit against Astronergy follows a patent complaint brought in March 2019 by Hanwha Q-Cells in Germany, the United States, and Australia against Longi, Jinko Solar, and REC. The latter three are accused of infringing on Hanwha Q-Cells’ current designs for passivated solar cell technology.

Although Hanwha Q-Cells’ patent infringement suit was largely dismissed in the United States, the Düsseldorf district court ruled in favor of the South Korean solar power supplier in the first instance. Jinko Solar, REC, and Longi Solar filed an appeal.

Longi mentioned at the start of the year that the appeal hearing is set for April 22, 2021. Hanwha Q-Cells has already stated as well that the appeal will most likely be heard in April by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.

The appellant PV companies argue that the patents were validated by the European and Chinese patent authorities, and also the US Patent and Trademark Agency. Longi stated that an appeal hearing at the European Patent Office was scheduled for March 25/26, 2021. This month, Hanwha Q-Cells anticipates a verdict on the appeal hearing against the patent “EP 2 220 689.”

The Chinese trademark office, which also investigated the patent’s authenticity, has made only a provisional judgment, according to which the patent CN 1091952971 will be held to a limited degree. Only in the United States were portions of patent US 9,893,215 withdrawn in December 2020. There is yet to be a verdict in the Australian litigation.

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