Oerlikon Solar takes legal action against Sunfilm AG
Patent infringement investigated
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 Neuchatel (Switzerland).
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."
OC Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon
Oerlikon (SWX: OERL) is one of the world's most successful high-tech industrial groups specializing in machine and plant engineering. The company is a leader in the field of industrial solutions and innovative technologies for textile manufacture, thin-film solar and thin-film coating, drive, precision and vacuum systems. With roots in Switzerland and a long tradition stretching back 100 years, Oerlikon is a global player with a workforce of more than 19,000 at 170 locations in 35 different countries. The company's sales amounted to CHF 5.6 billion and it ranks either first or second in the respective global markets. In 2007, approx. 5 percent of the turnover was invested in research and development (CHF 274 million).