PV manufacturer Maxeon has filed a lawsuit in Germany claiming that its rival, Aiko Solar, has breached European patents for the architecture of back contact solar cells. Aiko Solar has denied the allegations.
Singapore-based PV manufacturer Maxeon Solar Technologies is suing its 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.
According to a press release from Maxeon, Maxeon’s subsidiaries filed the patent infringement lawsuit against Aiko Solar and its subsidiaries yesterday in Mannheim District Court, Germany.
Maxeon said in the press release that Aiko and Memodo have allegedly breached Maxeon’s European Patent No. EP2297788B1. The patent relates to proprietary and fundamental solar cell architectures for back contact solar cells, also known as all-back contact (ABC) solar cells or interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells. Maxeon produces and sells modules with IBC solar cells.
“The lawsuit against Aiko and Memodo is necessary to protect our intellectual property, significant R&D and other investments, as well as our reputation and deep heritage and culture of innovation,” Maxeon’s CEO Bill Mulligan said.
Maxeon’s Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer, Lindsey Wiedman, said, “We believe that Aiko uses Maxeon’s technology.”
Aiko Solar has rejected the allegations.
“AIKO’s ABC products are fundamentally different from the technology protected by the asserted patent, as has been confirmed by our intellectual property team and our European outside counsel, a renowned IP firm,” the company said in a statement sent to pv magazine.
“We intend to robustly defend our position with our partners while jointly and actively seeking a resolution to defend our legitimate rights and interests, retaining the right to pursue further proceedings.”
Aiko said it had 1061 patents – including 325 patents for ABC technology – as of Oct. 31, 2023.
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