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Longi moves to reverse Dutch court decision permitting seizure of PV panels at Rotterdam

Chinese manufacturer Longi Solar is attempting to challenge an order granted in the Dutch court system permitting the seizure of a shipment of its solar modules at the Port of Rotterdam.

A source close to the matter told pv magazine Korean solar manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells was granted permission, on June 16, to seize an unspecified volume of Longi products in order to prevent their distribution in suspected infringement of Hanwha patents.

The patent dispute relates to a decision by the Dusseldorf Regional Court in June last year that Longi, and Chinese co-defendants JinkoSolar and REC Solar, had infringed Hanwha’s patented passivation solar cell technology. That decision, which is being appealed by the defendants, came after Hanwha had lodged patent infringement claims against the trio in the German court in March 2019.

As a result, pv magazine‘s source said yesterday, Hanwha secured permission in the Dutch legal system to seize the shipment last month as a “measure for preserving evidence.” Permission was given even though the Netherlands is not among the 11 nations where Hanwha’s patent has been ruled to have been infringed, because the Korean company persuaded lawmakers the panels might be distributed in other markets where the Dusseldorf ruling applied.

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Hanwha is understood to have offered to restore the panels to Longi upon receipt of proof they would not be distributed in markets where the Korean company’s patent is enforced by the German court ruling. pv magazine‘s source said Longi is understood to have written to customers in the U.K. and Germany – where the patent ruling applies – as well as in Poland, stating their panels will be delayed as they have been seized by Hanwha.

With Longi said to have been preparing to put its case in the Dutch court system yesterday, Hanwha is thought to be likely to request a cross-border injunction which would seek to preserve the legal decisions made in one European nation being breached in neighboring states.

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Source: pv magazine