Rotterdam court rejects Longi’s attempt to challenge Hanwha’s seizure of its photovoltaic panels – pv magazine International

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Hanwha received permission from the Rotterdam District Court to seize a shipment from Longi and on Friday an offer from Longi to persuade the court to withdraw that permission was rejected.

Korean solar power maker Hanwha Q Cells said pv magazine an attempt by Chinese rival Longi to challenge a seizure of Longi products in the port of Rotterdam was rejected by a Dutch court.

As pv magazine reported last week, a shipment of Longi products was seized in Rotterdam last month after Hanwha obtained permission from Dutch authorities over the risk that the products could be exported to third European countries where a Hanwha patent is pending. applied.

The Düsseldorf regional court in June last year ruled that Longi – and its Chinese counterparts JinkoSolar and REC Solar – had infringed Hanwha’s patent EP 2,220,689, which relates to solar cell passivation technology. Hanwha had filed the patent infringement complaint in March 2019 and an appeal against the Düsseldorf decision, subsequently announced by Longi and due to take place in April, is now expected to take place at the “end of summer”, according to a nearby source. to the case.

Referring to the Hanwha patent, Q Cells’ parent company, Hanwha Solutions Corporation, reportedly seized Longi products on June 21, after receiving the green light from Rotterdam District Court on June 16.

Longi challenged the court order allowing the seizure, but Hanwha announced that the court dismissed the challenge on Friday.

Hanwha said: “On July 9, the Rotterdam district court… rejected Longi’s challenge, which aimed to persuade the court to withdraw this authorization and lift the seizure. Thus, the seizure of the product will be maintained in principle. The court ordered Q Cells to release Longi’s products on condition that Longi can provide sufficient proof that these products would not be exported to countries where the relevant European patent, EP 2,220,689 ([the] ‘689) is in force. Q Cells had already offered this option to Longi even before the court dismissed Longi’s challenge and, of course, will immediately release particular shipments / lots of seized products upon receipt of the respective proof. However, so far (Monday July 12, 2021) no such evidence has been provided. “

Protected

The statement continued: “Q Cells sees the rejection of Longi’s challenge by the Rotterdam District Court as further confirmation that intellectual property rights in Europe are strong and can be effectively protected. Q Cells has initiated these legal actions for the sole purpose of protecting its intellectual property as well as the time-consuming and capital-intensive R&D efforts that the company continues to undertake in the development of photovoltaic technology. Our hope is that such application activity will serve to protect European customers, who wish to purchase reliable and high quality solar modules, developed and manufactured in a fair manner using fully patent protected technology.

Longi responded to the news of the seizure break by issuing a statement Friday issuing a decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board on June 28, d ‘invalidate Hanwha Q Cells US Patent 8,933,525B2. pv magazine learned, however, that the patent is different from Hanwha’s U.S. patent 9893215 (PERC), which has not been invalidated and which would be the equivalent of Patent EP 2 220 689 which allowed Hanwha to make its seizure in Rotterdam.

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