California-based photovoltaic (PV) panels maker Solaria Corporation is suing sector player Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ) over allegations that the latter infringes one of its US patents.
Solaria said in a statement it has filed a lawsuit against Canadian Solar in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California. The patent that is the subject of the suit covers a process for separating PV strips from solar cells for use in “shingled” modules.
The US company claims that its competitor studied its high-density module (HDM) technology back in 2014 when they were negotiating a licensing deal. During their time of cooperation, the US firm presented to Canadian Solar its proprietary technology and business strategies under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), but this did not lead to the signing of a licensing contract.
In 2019, however, Canadian Solar introduced HiDM shingled modules, which it began to advertise and sell in the US.
Solaria, which seeks damages and injunctive relief, noted that it could add more claims to the lawsuit, including one for misappropriation of trade secrets.
“When foreign companies such as Canadian Solar ignore American patents and violate our core IP, we will take action to enforce and protect the technology that took so much effort and investment to develop,” commented Solaria CEO Suvi Sharma. According to him, the US company has spent over USD 200 million (EUR 182m) on developing its technology over the last decade.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.910)