Aiko Solar Energy, a leading Chinese solar cell maker, claims it has not violated Maxeon Solar Technologies' patent despite a lawsuit regarding a powerful technology that only a few companies master.
Aiko’s all back contact products are fundamentally different from those of Maxeon Solar based on multiple verifications by Aiko’s intellectual property team and a law firm in Europe, the Shanghai-based company announced yesterday. The Chinese firm will take active actions to respond to Maxeon's suit and protect its rights and interests, it added.
A unit of Singapore-based Maxeon Solar filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against Aiko Solar at a court in Germany this week.
Aiko has applied for 325 patents on ABC technologies and gained 157 patent licenses as of Oct. 31 and has thus formed a perfect system to protect is products, the firm noted. ABC cells have contact grids moved from the front to the rear of the device for higher efficiency.
Maxeon is a leader in the field of interdigitated back contact technologies and developed an IBC solar cell over two decades years ago, per the firm's website. Back contact cells turn out to be difficult to develop as some of the few big companies which have managed to mass-produce such cells include China's Longi Green Energy Technology, Aiko, and Maxeon Solar. TCL Zhonghuan Renewable Energy Technology, a Chinese photovoltaic company, became a shareholder of Maxeon Solar in 2020.
Aiko has made big moves to enter the European market to compete with Maxeon this year. The Chinese firm announced on Aug. 21 that it has penned a 650-megawatt supply agreement with Libra Energy, the largest household PV distributor in the Netherlands. Moreover, Aiko inked a 520 MW supply deal with Dutch firm VDH Solar and signed an agreement with Belgian PV distributor Gutami Group in September.
Aiko has been having a better year than Maxeon Solar as the Chinese company reported CNY1.9 billion (USD262.2 million) in net profit in the first three quarters of this year, up 36 percent from a year ago.
Maxeon Solar will cut its global headcount by 15 percent given the market situation, the firm announced last month, predicting that most of the layoffs will be finished by year-end. The Nasdaq-listed company lost USD2.21 per share in the third quarter compared with analysts' expectations of 93 US cents per share, according to its latest financial report.