Maxeon sues Canadian Solar for alleged TOPCon patent infringement

 

  • Singapore-based solar module manufacturer Maxeon has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Chinese-Canadian competitor Canadian Solar in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The alleged patent infringement is related to an unspecified TOPCon solar cell technology.

“Maxeon has a strong heritage in developing solar cell technology, leading the development and commercialization of tunnel oxide passivated contacts,” said Marc Robinson, associate general counsel for Maxeon. “Years before the moniker ‘TOPCon’ started to be used in the industry to describe a tunnel oxide passivated contact-based solar cell, our scientists and engineers had developed several ways to implement TOPCon technology into both back contact and front contact solar cells. Maxeon has many patents related to TOPCon technology, with inventions drawn to fundamental TOPCon solar cell architectures dating back to the 2000s. This is Maxeon’s first action to enforce its valuable patent rights in the United States, and Maxeon will continue to vigorously enforce its patent rights in the United States and its other markets.”

Maxeon previously sued Canadian Solar in Japan for patent infringement in 2020. In the lawsuit, Maxeon alleged that Canadian Solar Japan infringed upon its Japan Patent No. JP6642841B2, which is related to its shingled solar modules. The two companies reached a settlement agreement in April 2022.

Canadian Solar has faced similar patent claims in the United States. PV manufacturer Solaria filed three different patent infringement claims against the company, also related to the process of separating photovoltaic strips from solar cells for use in shingled modules.

In November 2023, Maxeon sued Chinese competitor Aiko Solar Energy, as well as wholesaler Memedo GmbH, for alleged patent infringement regarding a specific design related to the architecture of back contact solar cells.

And in June 2023, Maxeon had filed a lawsuit against Tongwei Solar in Germany for the alleged infringement of its European patent for shingled solar cell technology.

Author: Emiliano Bellini

This article was originally published in pv magazine and is republished with permission. 

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