Patent infringement investigated Oerlikon Solar takes legal action against Sunfilm AG
Truebbach/Switzerland, 11 June 2008. - Oerlikon Solar, the leading supplier of proven
thin-film silicon PV solutions is taking steps to defend its strong Intellectual Property
portfolio. In addition to its own proprietary IP, Oerlikon is the worldwide exclusive
licensee for production systems for thin film photovoltaic cells on glass for several
patent families, in particular under EP 0 871 979 B1. This exclusivity includes the
right to enforce the patents against third party infringements. "With this action,
Oerlikon Solar is taking steps to protect our core assets and those of our customer's.
Oerlikon's intellectual property is being knowingly infringed upon by Sunfilm AG",
says Jeannine Sargent, CEO Oerlikon Solar. "Our IP represents the cumulative work
product of thousands of scientists and engineers for over twenty years, including
millions of dollars of investment."
Oerlikon Solar's IP Portfolio includes European Patent EP 0 871 979 B1, which
describes fundamentals of micromorph® tandem cell technology, an exclusive
license to which was obtained by Oerlikon in 2003, from IMT, University of
Sunfilm AG of Grossroehrsdorf in Germany has publicly announced plans to enter
the market with tandem junction photovoltaic modules, in violation of Oerlikon's
exclusive license. In Oerlikon's view, Sunfilm's manufacturing setup in Saxony,
Germany, is designed to infringe upon both method and product that are protected
under EP 0 871 979 B1. Oerlikon has decided to exert its right to enforce EP 0
871 979 B1 against Sunfilm. A complaint for patent infringement has been filed on
June 10 with the German District Court of Duesseldorf.
The relevance of this patent has been made clear by the fact that several
companies, including Sunfilm AG, have filed a notice of opposition with the
European Patent office.
Sargent: "Oerlikon wants to assure our stakeholders that we will enforce and
protect our intellectual property and will aggressively pursue all parties who are
suspected of violating these rights."