JinkoSolar Gets Favourable Decision in Hanwha Q CELLS Patent Infringement Case

The US International Trade Commission has issued the final determination that JinkoSolar products do not infringe a patent asserted by Hanwha Q CELLS.

Chinese solar PV cells and modules manufacturer, JinkoSolar has announced that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a favourable final determination concluding that JinkoSolar’s products do not infringe a patent asserted by Hanwha Q CELLS.

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In March 2019, Hanwha initiated ITC Investigation No. 337-TA-1151 against JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar, and REC Group, asserting that the companies infringe its US Patent No. 9,893,215.

On June 3, 2020, the Commission issued its final determination in JinkoSolar’s favour, affirming the Administrative Law Judge’s initial determination in April, which was based on analysis of detailed, expert testimony, that JinkoSolar’s products do not infringe Hanwha’s patent.

For context, on April 10, 2020, the Administrative Law Judge in the 1151 Investigation had ruled that JinkoSolar’s products do not infringe the ‘215 patent. ALJ MaryJoan McNamara issued an initial determination granting JinkoSolar’s motion for summary determination of non-infringement.

In December 2019, the US Patent and Trademark Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted inter parties review (IPR) proceedings of the patentability of claims 12-14 of the ‘215 patent claims in view of the prior art. IPR is a trial proceeding conducted at the PTAB to review the patentability of one or more claims in a patent. The PTAB’s institution decision states that JinkoSolar and REC Group have “established a reasonable likelihood of prevailing in showing that claims 12-14 of the ‘215 patent are unpatentable.”

“We welcome this final decision from the ITC, confirming what we have known all along: our products do not infringe Hanwha’s patent,” said Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar. “From the start, we have believed that the case brought by Hanwha was legally and technically meritless and a transparent attempt to disrupt innovation and slow our momentum. The ALJ’s decision confirms that Hanwha should never have brought this case in the first place. JinkoSolar is a true innovator, and this outcome validates our technology. Our top priority is to provide our customers around the world with the industry-leading, sustainable, high-quality, high-performance solar modules they have come to expect from us.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.