- Ampt has accused SolarEdge Technologies of infringing on its patented power optimizer technology
- Infringing products as named by Ampt in its lawsuit include power optimizers for solar panels, inverters for solar power systems and solar power systems using both
- It has sought to ban these products from SolarEdge from being imported into the US, along with monetary damages and an injunction
Ampt LLC, a US based power optimizer supplier to large scale solar energy systems, has filed a lawsuit against Israel headquartered SolarEdge Technologies in the US, accusing it of infringing on its patented power optimizer technology.
As the name suggests, power optimizers help improve power generation from a solar system and fall under module level power electronics (MLPE) category. A leader in the solar inverter with optimizers segment, SolarEdge sells its power optimizers as a DC/DC converter that once connected to solar modules, turns them into smart modules, monitoring their performance.
Ampt has included SolarEdge’s power optimizers for solar panels, inverters for solar power systems and solar power systems using both in the infringing products list. SolarEdge has not publicly responded to the accusations.
In its complaint filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), Ampt says SolarEdge’s solar power systems unlawfully use its optimizer technology, infringing one or more of its 8 US patents. It explains that these patents describe improved ways of converting electrical power from a solar energy source to make it available for use in a variety of applications.
It has also filed a similar case against the Israeli company in the US District Court in Delaware. Ampt is seeking ban on the imports of SolarEdge power systems and components that infringe its patents into the US, ban on the sale of infringing products in the US after these are imported, along with substantial monetary damages and an injunction.
“SolarEdge has sought to improve its own position in the PV market by unlawfully using our proprietary technology without asking our permission or compensating us,” said Ampt’s CEO Levent Gun. “This complaint seeks to block SolarEdge from continuing to profit wrongfully from Ampt’s patented inventions. We look forward to demonstrating to the ITC and the District Court that SolarEdge is violating our intellectual property and that the Commission should ban the import of the infringing SolarEdge products.”
Ampt has a production facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, while SolarEdge manufactures in Israel, China, Vietnam and Hungary. “If the ITC grants the relief sought by Ampt, it would not be possible for SolarEdge to continue selling those infringing products in the United States, however there are numerous other non-infringing companies selling alternative products that are currently available in the U.S. to meet both existing and future demand,” added the US company.
Interestingly, Ampt’s patent lawsuit follows its compatriot MLPE supplier Tigo Energy filing a similar claim against SMA Solar Technology America accusing it of infringing on its solar rapid shutdown technology (see Patent Lawsuit Against SMA Solar Technology).
Earlier this year, Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE reached an out-of-court settlement with un-identified leading inverter companies from Greater China and Germany for its 7 patent infringement cases regarding solar inverter technology (see Fraunhofer ISE Settles Patent Infringement Case).