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Westinghouse Solar Files ITC Complaint Against Canadian Solar and Zep Solar

05-Oct-2011 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 7947
CAMPBELL, Ca - Westinghouse Solar Inc., a designer and manufacturer of solar power systems, announced in a press release that it has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission accusing Zep Solar and Canadian Solar of infringing two Westinghouse Solar patents — US Patent Numbers 7,406,800 and 7,987,641. 

In the Complaint, Westinghouse Solar seeks relief that includes, among other things, the institution of an investigation of Zep Solar and Canadian Solar, a permanent exclusion order barring certain Zep Solar and Canadian Solar products from being imported into the United States, as well as a cease and desist order prohibiting the importation, sale, or advertising of these products. 

Westinghouse Solar pioneered the concept of solar panels in which the racking, grounding and wiring is integrated into the solar panel itself. The result is a solar panel that is much easier to install, as well as safer and more reliable. Starting in 2004, US and international patents were applied for covering these inventions. The first "Andalay" solar panels were introduced into the US market at Solar Power 2007. Currently, Westinghouse Solar panels are protected by four US patents, four international patents, and over 20 more patents that have been applied for but not yet issued. As solar panels themselves get less expensive, the importance of reducing installation labor increases — and Westinghouse Solar's technology has received widespread industry recognition for making solar panels easier and cheaper to install. 

Westinghouse Solar contends that Zep Solar and Canadian Solar make and import certain products that infringe the '800 Patent and the '641 Patent. Westinghouse's ITC filing is a means of addressing the alleged infringement by seeking an order permanently barring Zep Solar and its licensees such as Canadian Solar from importing products into the United States that infringe Westinghouse Solar's '800 and '641 Patents. 

"Over the past few years we have worked successfully with several Chinese and Japanese companies who have licensed our technology," said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Westinghouse Solar. "We have active, ongoing discussions with companies to license our technology in an effort to bring installation costs down on a more widespread basis throughout the solar industry. Unfortunately, we believe that Zep Solar, Canadian Solar and others, have not appropriately recognized Westinghouse Solar's intellectual property rights by incorporating a system — the Zep System — that we contend infringes certain of our patents. As a consequence, we have turned to the ITC to address this issue." 

Westinghouse Solar anticipates that the International Trade Commission will initiate a formal investigation on behalf of the US Government within the next 30 days. 

Counsel for Westinghouse Solar handling this ITC complaint is Snell and Wilmer L.L.P., in Costa Mesa, California.

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