DuPont lawsuit accuses SunEdison of patent infringement

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DuPont has this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against SunEdison, claiming that the U.S. solar company’s use of metallization paste in its solar cells and modules infringe’s DuPont’s patent of its tellurium paste technology.

The complaint from DuPont alleges that SunEdison’s use of solar modules and cells that contain Samsung SDI Co., Ltd front side metallization paste constitutes the patent infringement.

The U.S. chemical company also identifies Taiwan’s Neo Solar Power as the cell manufacturer, and Flextronics as the contract manufacturers that has supplied SunEdison. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

"DuPoint will enforce its patent rights to protect our substantial investment in innovation to improve solar energy efficiency," said DuPont Electronics & Communications’ global PV business and marketing manager Peter Brenner. "Installers and module makers like SunEdison are responsible for ensuring that their products do not use infringing cells or pastes.

"Our patented tellurium technology is available only from DuPoint; no other PV paste manufacturer has a license to use our patented technology."

The issue revolves around SunEdison’s alleged use of a metallization paste that mimics the patented technology used in DuPont’s Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes, which are a growing part of DuPont’s PV solutions portfolio. The company stressed that the creation of such technology has been the result of “investing heavily in research and development” and as such will protect that investment to the full extent of the law.

In June 2012, DuPont filed a similar lawsuit against Heraeus, alleging that the company use of front-side silver paste also infringed on DuPont’s patent. The dispute was settled more than a year later.

SunEdison has so far issued a "no comment" in response to DuPont’s latest lawsuit.

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