SolarEdge violated Huawei inverter patent, rules Chinese court

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Chinese inverter manufacturer Huawei said on Friday that the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court has ruled that SolarEdge has infringed on one of its patents for inverter products manufactured and exported by its Jabil Circuit (Guangzhou) Ltd. unit, along with two other subsidiaries in China.

The decision is related to one of three infringement lawsuits that Huawei filed in Chinese courts against SolarEdge in May. The court has ordered SolarEdge to “immediately stop the infringing activities” and pay RMB10 million ($1.4 million) to Huawei, the company said.

Huawei’s other two patent claims are still under review.

In response, a spokesperson from Solaredge told pv magazine: “We note that this is a first instance judgement in local Chinese courts and is not enforceable until there is a conclusion for the appeal before the higher courts in China.”  The company added that the judgement relates only to older versions of its inverters which are no longer being produced and does not affect the inverters currently being manufactured or distributed. “As such, it will not have any impact on SolarEdge sales,” the spokesperson stated.

The manufacturer intends to appeal against the judgement.

SolarEdge also filed three lawsuits against Huawei in the regional courts of Jinan and Shenzhen in October.

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German claims

The favorable verdict in China follows a November court ruling in Germany, in which the judges determined that Huawei did not commit patent infringement in relation to one of three claims. As a result, the European Patent Office responded to the patent opposition case – lodged by Huawei against SolarEdge in relation to multi-level inverter topology – by revoking the validity of SolarEdge’s patent.

The first of the German lawsuits, which relates to SolarEdge’s DC-optimized inverter technology, was filed by the Israeli company with the Mannheim court in June 2019. A second case, which consists of two additional proceedings in the same court, alleges that Huawei infringed upon two other SolarEdge patents.

*The article has been modified on Aug. 7, 2020 to add a statement from Solaredge.

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