Maxeon files »shingled modules« patent lawsuit against Canadian Solar

The cell and module manufacturer Maxeon Solar Inc. with headquarters in Singapore has filed a patent lawsuit against the Chinese-Canadian solar company Canadian Solar. Maxeon took legal action against Canadian Solar Japan K.K. in a district court in the Japanese capital Tokyo. According to the company, the case concerns the Japanese patent JP6642841B2, which relates to the production of »shingled solar cell modules«.
These modules are made from divided – typically halved – solar cells which are arranged and interconnected in a shingled fashion. Such modules are offered by numerous manufacturers. However, Maxeon claims that the modules introduced by its sister company Sunpower Corp. under the brand »SunPower Performance« are the most widely used shingle technology, with more than 3 GW of installed power worldwide.
Sunpower, which acquired the rights for the special module design through its acquisition of the U.S. company Cogenra Solar in 2015, has since then developed the technology and secured it internationally – by no means only in Japan – with more than 150 patents. Maxeon manufactures the »SunPower Performance« modules in China at Huansheng Photovoltaic Co Ltd, a joint venture of Maxeon with the Chinese Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co Ltd.
In mid-September, the U.S. company Solaria Corporation filed an application with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in a dispute over patent rights that are also relevant to the processing of shingle solar cells, to prohibit the sale of certain types of Canadian Solar modules in the U.S. Solaria had filed a patent lawsuit to this effect against Canadian Solar with a district court in the State of California on March 31. While Canadian Solar has not yet taken a position on the suit filed by Maxeon, the company firmly rejects the accusations made by Solaria.

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