Munich, Germany – December 9, 2020
REC Group, the Norwegian-headquartered pioneering solar panel manufacturer, welcomes the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to invalidate all challenged claims of Hanwha Q-Cells US Patent No. 9,893,215, which was asserted against REC Group in 2019. Specifically, the PTAB found that claims 12-14 of the ‘215 patent, owned by Hanwha Q Cells & Advanced Materials Corporation, are unpatentable. This decision is not final and can be appealed.
In June 2020, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) (Investigation No. 337-TA-1151) decided that REC Group did not infringe the ‘215 patent. As an outcome, the ITC terminated the investigation in REC Group’s favor.
REC Group’s CEO Steve O’Neil states: “We are pleased that REC Group has once again been vindicated, this time by the decision of the USPTO to invalidate the challenged claims of Hanwha’s ‘215 patent. This further confirms our belief all along that Hanwha’s allegations against REC Group were without technical and legal merit. Innovation is vital to our business for more than 24 years and REC Group recognizes the important role intellectual property protection plays in encouraging innovation. We respect the legitimate intellectual property rights of others, but REC Group will not hesitate to vigorously defend itself against meritless claims of infringement and challenge the legitimacy of those rights when warranted.”
This official decision marks an important milestone in the solar industry, emphasizing that meritless legal confrontation initiated in an attempt to gain competitive advantages will not lead to sustainable success. REC Group will continue to empower consumers with innovative and high-quality solar panels as the company has done prior to and during Hanwha’s groundless legal assertion.
For further information please contact:
Head of Global PR, REC Group
Tel.: +49 89 4 42 38 59 39
REC Solar EMEA GmbH
80804 Munich, Germany
Managing Director: Cemil Seber
Court of Registration: Munich HRB 180306
VAT ID-No: DE266243545