Archive for the ‘Licenses’ Category

Strategic value of solar patents increasing slowly but surely: SunPower secures license from SunLink

October 11, 2009

Associated Press reported that SunPower and SunLink have settled a patent suit with SunPower extracting a license from SunLink.¬† The complaint was originally filed in Oregon and transferred to Northern California where it was pending before Judge Saundra Armstrong, who wrote the Kivalina Order on greenhouse gas public nuisance suits that I recently posted about.¬† (I also appeared before Judge Armstrong recently in a contracts case involving¬† “greenwashing” claims and was very impressed.)

The SunPower complaint asserts two patents, US Patent No. 5505788 (“Thermally Regulated Photovoltaic Roofing Assembly”) and No. RE38,988 (“Lightweight, Self-Balancing Photovoltaic Assembly”).

‘788 Patent Claim 1:

1. A photovoltaic roofing assembly, comprising:

a roofing membrane;
a plurality of photovoltaic modules disposed as a layer on top of said roofing membrane, and
means for regulating the temperature of said photovoltaic modules.

‘988 Patent Claim 1:

1. A photovoltaic assembly comprising:

a building rooftop;
a photovoltaic module having sides and having upper and lower surfaces; and
a spacer secured to the lower surface of the photovoltaic module and supported by the building rooftop;
said spacer sized and configured to define:
an open region beneath said lower surface, said open region extending between and in contact with the lower surface and in direct contact with the building rooftop, and
including access openings formed therein for fluidly coupling said open region to said upper surface;
said access openings extending along at least two sides of said photovoltaic module;
whereby wind uplift forces are resisted when said photovoltaic assembly is mounted to the building rooftop .

Australian patent attorney Justin Blows makes a sharp prediction that strategic use of patents will likely increase as the industry matures.