The Korea Herald


US trade body likely to rule against Hanwha Q Cells in patent case; panel maker to ‘appeal immediately’

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Nov. 15, 2019 - 12:41

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South Korean solar panel manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells received a preliminary notice from the US International Trade Commission indicating that the US body regards as unfounded the company’s patent infringement complaints against other foreign solar energy companies, the firm confirmed Friday.

The USITC is set to announce an official ruling in about two weeks. Hanwha said it would “appeal immediately” if the decision were to be finalized. The reasoning behind the USITC’s preliminary decision was not revealed.

Hanwha Q Cells Hanwha Q Cells

In March, Hanwha Q Cells filed patent infringement complaints against three companies -- Chinese firms Jinko Solar Holding Co. and Longi Solar and a Norwegian company, REC Group -- alleging that they used its technology to produce products they exported to the US.

The Korean firm claims that they used its patented passivation technology, known as Q.antum, to increase the efficiency and enhance the performance of solar cells. By filing the complaints, the company had sought an ITC order to stop the sale of the products in question in the US.

Hanwha Q Cells is proceeding with similar patent infringement complaints in Germany and Australia. It has lodged complaints against the same three companies in all three countries.

A spokesperson from Hanwha Q Cells said: “We are still convinced that our patents were infringed in the US as well as in Germany. Apart from the US case, the German and Australian lawsuits are well underway.” 

By Shin Ji-hye (