While it’s hard to believe that more than a month has passed since the 2019 Power & Renewables Summit in Austin, Texas, the Duane Morris Green IP Blog wanted to make sure to share some of the key intellectual property takeaways from that conference. The conference organizers put together a rigorous and thought-provoking agenda that covered a lot of ground in just two days. The Greentech Media team and their colleagues at Wood Mackenzie also provided deep dives into their data, analytics, and forecasting for renewables. Continue reading “Recap: Greentech Media’s Power & Renewables Summit”
Solar Tracking Patent Survives Challenge at Patent Trial and Appeal Board
- A solar tracking patent owned by Array Technologies survived a challenged brought by ArcelorMittal before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
- Array Technologies had previously brought infringement claims against a solar tracking company called Exosun. ArcelorMittal later bought assets from Exosun, which may have prompted ArcelorMittal’s challenge to the Array Technologies patent.
A solar tracking patent owned by Array Technologies, Inc. was upheld as patentable in a final decision issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board earlier this month. The validity of the patent had been challenged by international steel and manufacturing giant ArcelorMittal in a petition filed with the Board in March 2018. After reviewing that petition and hearing arguments from both sides in the case, the Board has determined that the claimed invention of the solar tracking patent is both new and non-obvious over solar tracking technology at the time the invention was made. The Board therefore upheld the patentability of Array’s patent. Continue reading “Solar Tracking Patent Survives Challenge at Patent Trial and Appeal Board”
SunTrac Challenges Solar-Assisted Air Conditioner Patent
- SunTrac Solar Manufacturing LLC has challenged at patent owned by DZSolar Ltd. that is directed to a solar-assisted temperature control system.
- SunTrac alleges that the invention claimed by DZSolar was disclosed in another patent application at least 16 years before DZSolar filed its patent application. If SunTrac is successful in the challenge, the DZSolar patent would be canceled.
SunTrac Solar Manufacturing LLC, a producer of hybrid climate control systems based in Tempe, Arizona, filed a challenge last month against a patent owned by the U.K.-based DZSolar Ltd. SunTrac’s challenge was brought before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and alleges that the claimed invention of DZSolar’s U.S. Patent No. 9,267,713 is unpatentable because the invention was already well-known at the time DZSolar filed its patent application. In order to be eligible for a patent, a patent application must claim an invention that is a new and non-obvious improvement over existing technology at the time the patent application is filed. Continue reading “SunTrac Challenges Solar-Assisted Air Conditioner Patent”
Pair of LA-Based Solar Installers Head to Court for Patent Fight
- Solar installation rivals PermaCity and Orion Solar Racking are headed to federal court in California for a dispute over PermaCity’s patented roof mounting technology and an alleged breach of a non-disclosure agreement.
PermaCity Corporation, a solar installation company based on Los Angeles, has sued rival Orion Solar Racking Inc. in federal court in California for alleged patent infringement and breach of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). PermaCity manufactures and sells a roof-mounting product called SolarStrap, which is marketed as a faster and less expensive way to install solar panels. Continue reading “Pair of LA-Based Solar Installers Head to Court for Patent Fight”
Top Posts from Our First Year of the Duane Morris Green IP Blog
This week marks the one-year anniversary of our first post to the Duane Morris Green IP Blog, so we thought we’d mark the occasion with a look back at our top posts of the first year. This list was developed subjectively from a loose combination of reader feedback, page traffic, and republication. Continue reading “Top Posts from Our First Year of the Duane Morris Green IP Blog”
Solar Panel Mounting Patents Found Invalid, Potentially Saving Defendants EcoFasten and SunModo
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found three patents directed to solar panel mounting technology to have defective priority claims. As a result, the allegedly-infringing products sold by EcoFasten and SunModo pre-date the patents, rendering the patents invalid.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the invalidity of three patents directed to solar panel mounting technology. The patents are owned by solar installer D Three Enterprises LLC, and were asserted in federal court against SunModo Corporation and Rillito River Solar LLC, which does business under the name EcoFasten Solar. Now that the three patents have been affirmed as invalid, D Three’s lawsuit against SunModo and EcoFasten will potentially be dismissed. Continue reading “Solar Panel Mounting Patents Found Invalid, Potentially Saving Defendants EcoFasten and SunModo”
Solar Tracking Patent Disputed: ArcelorMittal v. Array Technologies
- ArcelorMittal has challenged the validity of a solar tracking patent owned by Array Technologies in a petition filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
- Array Technologies had previously brought infringement claims against a solar tracking company called Exosun. ArcelorMittal later bought assets from Exosun, which may have prompted ArcelorMittal’s challenge to the Array Technolgies patent.
International steel and manufacturing giant ArcelorMittal filed a petition in March at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board challenging the validity of a solar tracking patent owned by Array Technologies, Inc. If successful, ArcelorMittal’s challenge could result in the cancellation of a significant portion of Array Technologies’ U.S. Patent No. 8,459,249. Continue reading “Solar Tracking Patent Disputed: ArcelorMittal v. Array Technologies”
Design of Solar-Powered Lightbulbs at Issue in New Litigation
- A pair of manufacturers are engaged in litigation over the specific design of a solar lightbulb.
- Design patents are used to protect the appearance of a product rather than the product’s functionality.
The Gerson Companies, a home décor products importer based in Olathe, Kansas, has sued Quanxin Lighting and Electrical (USA) Inc. in federal court in Delaware last month for infringement of a design patent. The patent is directed to the design of a solar-powered lightbulb. In the lawsuit, Gerson has requested monetary damages and an injunction preventing Quanxin USA’s continued sale of the allegedly infringing products. Continue reading “Design of Solar-Powered Lightbulbs at Issue in New Litigation”
Solar Panel Trade Case Concludes with Tariff Announcement
This post was co-authored by Brad Thompson and Justus Getty.
- The Suniva / SolarWorld trade case concluded this week with the announcement of import relief to domestic solar panel manufacturers in the form of tariffs to be applied to solar panel imports.
- The decision, which was heavily contested by stakeholders in the solar industry, was somewhat of a mixed bag for all sides: although some tariffs were imposed, the tariffs did not go as far as Suniva and SolarWorld had requested.
Continue reading “Solar Panel Trade Case Concludes with Tariff Announcement”
IP Profile: Solar Panel Mounting Company Sollega, Inc.
This post was co-authored by Justus Getty and Nicole Candelori.
- Sollega, a provider of modular solar panel mounting solutions, has taken steps to protect its intellectual property. Those steps include federally registering a trademark and obtaining a U.S. Patent.
San Francisco-based Sollega, Inc., specializes in the design and manufacturing of ballasted commercial flat-roof and ground mount racking solutions. While much of the focus of the solar industry has been on the rapidly decreasing prices for solar panels (for example, see our earlier post here), Sollega is looking to reduce the cost associated with a different part of the solar equation: installation. Sollega states that its modular mounting racks with pre-set inclines offer the potential to more quickly install solar panels and thus achieve substantial savings in labor costs. Continue reading “IP Profile: Solar Panel Mounting Company Sollega, Inc.”