California-based solar manufacturer Solaria Corp. is suing a rival that it accuses of stealing its patented module technology.
A statement released by Solaria says that Canadian Solar Inc. infringed Solaria’s U.S. patent covering a process of separating photovoltaic (PV) strips from solar cells for use in tiled or shingled modules. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern California Federal Court.
Solaria allegedly revealed its solar shingling technology to Canadian Solar while the two parties were exploring a licensing deal beginning 2014. They spent close to a year interacting and sharing strategies, but no deal was reached.
Last year, Canadian Solar launched its “HiDM” shingled modules and began selling them in the U.S. Solaria is seeking damages and injunctive relief for the technology it alleges the Chinese company took to create the HiDM.
“Solaria has invested over $200 million in developing its technology over the last decade to create the most advanced solar panels in the world,” CEO Suvi Sharma said in the statement. “When foreign companies such as Canadian Solar ignore American patents and violate our core IP, we will take action to enforce and protect the technology that took so much effort and investment to develop.”
Canadian solar is ranked among the top five solar panel manufacturers in terms of global sales, according to a 2019 report on the Energysage website. Canadian solar was founded in Ontario but has primary manufacturing operations in China and Asia, according to reports.
Solaria was founded 20 years ago in New Mexico. Its investors include Sigma Partners, Moser Baer, Q-Cells and NGEN Partners.