Maxeon alleges Canadian Solar is infringing on patented TOPCon technology

Maxeon Alleges Canadian Solar Is Infringing On Patented Topcon Technology

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Maxeon Solar has initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against Canadian Solar alleging infringement of Maxeon’s TOPCon patents. Maxeon filed in the Eastern District of Texas.

Canadian Solar TOPCon module

After buying Solaria’s shingled-cell technology patents last year, Maxeon now holds over 1,650 granted patents and over 330 pending patent applications related to interdigitated back contact (IBC), shingled hypercell and tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar technology. The company announced last year that it was investigating several companies for infringement of Maxeon’s patents. This claim against Canadian Solar is the first to be announced.

“Maxeon has a strong heritage in developing solar cell technology, leading the development and commercialization of tunnel oxide passivated contacts,” said Marc Robinson, Associate General Counsel at Maxeon. “Years before the moniker ‘TOPCon’ started to be used in the industry to describe a tunnel oxide passivated contact-based solar cell, our scientists and engineers had developed several ways to implement TOPCon technology into both back-contact and front-contact solar cells. Maxeon has many patents related to TOPCon technology, with inventions drawn to fundamental TOPCon solar cell architectures dating back to the 2000s. This is Maxeon’s first action to enforce its valuable patent rights in the United States, and Maxeon will continue to vigorously enforce its patent rights in the United States and its other markets.”

Maxeon is alleging infringement on three patents: Nos. 8,222,516 (the ’516 patent), 8,878,053 (the ’053 patent), and 11,251,315 (the ’315 patent).

  • ‘516 patent: Front Contact Solar Cell with Formed Emitter (granted in 2012 to SunPower)
  • ‘053 patent: Front Contact Solar Cell with Formed Emitter (granted in 2014 to SunPower)
  • ‘315 patent: Solar Cells with Improved Lifetime, Passivation and/or Efficiency (granted in 2022 to SunPower)
    • SunPower assigned its patents to Maxeon in 2022.

Canadian Solar has not yet commented on this case.

Solaria filed a patent infringement suit against Canadian Solar in 2020, alleging Canadian Solar stole Solaria’s patents for shingled solar modules. The International Trade Commission found that Canadian Solar did infringe on Solaria’s patents, and the two companies ultimately agreed that Canadian Solar would not sell solar panels using shingled technology in the United States for seven years.


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