Ampt Files Two Lawsuits Alleging Patent Infringement By SolarEdge

Highlights :

  • Ampt claims SolarEdge’s solar power systems have unlawfully used Ampt’s optimiser technology and infringing of some of its US patents.
  • According to Ampt, the patents disclose methods of transferring electrical power from a solar energy source for use in several applications. The infringing items are made in Israel, China, Vietnam and Hungary.

United States-headquartered power optimizer company, Ampt has filed two patents infringement lawsuits against SolarEdge in the United States. The lawsuit has been filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), asking for a restriction on imports of SolarEdge’s power systems and components infringing Ampt’s patents.

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At the same time, Ampt has also filed a similar patent infringement lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, seeking a finding of patent infringement, “substantial” monetary penalties, and an injunction.

Ampt has pioneered power optimizers employed in large solar plants to minimise the cost of energy production and enhance performance in new systems while also upgrading existing systems, enabling low-cost solar energy storage systems. Ampt claims that SolarEdge has illegally used Ampt’s optimizer technology and has infringed on one or more of the claimant’s US patents. These patents propose improved methods of converting solar energy into electrical power that can be used in a range of applications.

According to Ampt, the patents disclose methods of transferring electrical power from a solar energy source for use in several applications. The infringing items are made in Israel, China, Vietnam, and Hungary.

Levent Gun, CEO at Ampt, said: “We look forward to demonstrating to the ITC and the District Court that SolarEdge is violating our intellectual property and that the Commission should ban the import of the infringing SolarEdge products.”
Ampt’s complaint to the ITC requests an exclusion order prohibiting imports to the US of SolarEdge’s products infringing Ampt’s patents, as well as a restriction on the sale of items already imported into the US.

The company claims that SolarEdge’s power optimizers for solar panels, inverters for power systems, and solar power systems that use both infringe the patents.

SolarEdge responded to the news by saying, “For many years, SolarEdge and Ampt have been litigating a disagreement involving a patent family filed by SolarEdge and a patent family filed by Ampt before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).”
“Recently, the USPTO awarded priority of invention to SolarEdge canceled the claims of Ampt’s patents, and awarded the patent claims in these Ampt patents to SolarEdge. While SolarEdge has not yet been served, it appears that having lost before the USPTO, Ampt is now shopping around its claims to other courts. SolarEdge anticipates a vigorous defense of these new cases.”

One of the most significant disputes to date has been between SolarEdge and Huawei. In 2018, SolarEdge commenced infringement proceedings in Germany before the Mannheim Regional Court for infringing three of its European patents concerning inverter technology for photovoltaic systems and for use in solar panels. Huawei has since successfully brought a challenge to one of the underlying EP patents (EP 29 30 839 B1 concerning a multi-level inverter) before the European Patent Office, a decision which was upheld by the Board of Appeal in October this year.

National proceedings are still ongoing in Germany in relation to the two remaining patents alleged to be infringed. SolarEdge is also involved in a global patent dispute with competitor SMA Solar Technology, in which SolarEdge is defending infringement proceedings and challenging the validity of SMA Solar’s patents that also relate to inverter technology.

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