Hanwha Q Cells loses first round of patent infringement suit

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Hanwha Q Cells’ patent infringement suit against JinkoSolar, LONGi and REC Group is about to reach its final phase, and it isn’t looking good for the Korean-German PV maker.

In April the U.S. International Trade Commission launched an investigation into claims by Hanwha that the three Asian solar manufacturers had infringed on the patents behind its particular recipe for passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology. Hanwha has asked trade authorities to keep the three companies’ PERC-based products out of the U.S. market as a consequence.

However, on Tuesday Administrative Law Judge MaryJoan McNamara issued a ruling staying indefinitely both an evidentiary hearing and the rest of the procedural schedule. She also stated that within two weeks, an initial determination would be made granting the respondents’ motions for summary determination of non-infringement.

Hanwha sent a statement to pv magazine indicating that it plans to “immediately appeal” the anticipated summary determination. It also notes that these anticipated rulings will not affect its cases against the three manufacturers in Australia and Germany.

LONGi and Jinko have stated that they feel the claims are without merit, with LONGi citing specific aspects of the technology and process.