[Berlin, Germany, March 18, 2022] Qcells today confirms that on March 1, 2022, the Court of Appeal of The Hague, the Netherlands, decided in preliminary relief proceedings to confirm the PI Judge of the Rotterdam District Court’s ruling, issued on October 1, 2021, that prohibited LONGi (NETHERLANDS) TRADING B.V. (LONGi NL) – the Dutch subsidiary of LONGi Solar – from inciting its customers to infringe the EP ‘689 patent in countries where the Qcells affiliate, Hanwha Solutions Corporation, is the registered owner.
Furthermore, the Court of Appeal’s new order has expanded the list of countries from 9 to 11 that fall under this cross-border injunction and required LONGi’s Dutch subsidiary to send a recall letter to its customers in a request to return the patent-infringing products sold by the company. Moreover, the Court of Appeal decided that LONGi NL not only acted unlawfully by inciting its customers to infringe the EP ‘689 patent but also directly infringed the patent itself by selling infringing products to its customers in countries where the patent has been validated.
The EP ‘689 patent was subject to a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Qcells in March and April 2019 at the Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Germany, resulting in the Regional Court of Düsseldorf finding infringement by LONGi Solar's German subsidiary LONGi GmbH. While the final verdict is still pending due to an appeal to the Court of Appeal of Düsseldorf filed by LONGi GmbH, and with the European Patent Office’s decision regarding the validity of the patent yet to be decided, the Preliminary Relief Judge of the District Court of Rotterdam ruled that the threat of infringement of Hanwha Solutions Corporation’s patent facilitated by LONGi’s Dutch subsidiary would cause financial damage to Qcells and adversely affect Qcells’ position on the world market.
Subsequently, the most recent judgment announced by the Court of Appeal of The Hague also prohibits LONGi’s Dutch subsidiary from directly infringing the EP ‘689 patent. According to the judgment, LONGi NL may not offer for sale, sell or distribute the infringing products in Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Austria, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Switzerland.
Additionally, LONGi’s Dutch subsidiary has been instructed to provide the Qcells affiliate Hanwha Solutions Corporation with a written list of all customers located in those 11 countries to which LONGi NL has offered or sold products protected by the patent. LONGi’s Dutch subsidiary is also ordered to send to each of its aforementioned customers a registered recall letter that states LONGi solar modules of the Hi-M03, Hi-M03m, Hi-M04, Hi M04m, Hi-M05 and Hi-M05m types (except for products referred to by HIH, HIB and HIBD) infringe the EP ‘689 patent owned by Hanwha Solutions Corporation and, therefore, are requested to return these infringing products to LONGi NL for an immediate refund.
The cross-border injunction came into effect one working day after the service of the judgment. A daily financial penalty will apply if LONGi’s Dutch subsidiary fails to comply with the cross-border injunction. Moreover, the Court of Appeal’s order for LONGi’s Dutch subsidiary to provide a written list of customers and send out recall letters must be fulfilled no later than March 21, 2022.Qcells, committed to protecting innovations from being unfairly used, will closely observe LONGi NL and the actions of its customers and take further legal measures if necessary.
Dr. Daniel Jeong, CTO of Qcells, said: “Qcells stands by the Dutch Court’s decision in the appeal proceedings, which proves and further strengthens the validity of the ongoing legal efforts to protect our rightful intellectual property.
“As an industry leader, Qcells takes seriously its responsibility to establish a healthy industry landscape in which time- and capital-intensive R&D efforts are properly protected. We will continue to take all necessary actions to prevent unlawful actions that amount to or induce infringement of Qcells’s patent by continuously monitoring the European market.”
Qcells is a leading total energy solutions provider in solar cell and module, energy storage, downstream project business and energy retail. It is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea (Global Executive HQ) and Thalheim, Germany (Technology & Innovation HQ) with its diverse international manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Malaysia, China, and South Korea. Through its growing global business network spanning Europe, North America, Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East, Qcells provides excellent services and long-term partnerships to its customers in the utility, commercial, governmental and residential markets. For more information, visit: www.q-cells.com.
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Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH
Oliver Beckel, Ian Clover
Tel: +49 (0)3494 6699 10121