Bloomberg News

Westinghouse Seeks to Block Imports of Rival Solar-Power Systems

October 04, 2011

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Westinghouse Solar Inc. said it filed a patent-infringement complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to block imports of solar-power systems made by Zep Solar and Canadian Solar Inc.

Westinghouse Solar, a designer and installer of solar-power systems, accuses the companies of infringing two of its patents that cover ways to make solar panels easier and cheaper to install, the Campbell, California-based company said in a statement today. A copy of the complaint wasn’t immediately available.

The company has licensed its technology to Chinese and Japanese firms, and it has been in talks with other companies “in an effort to bring installation costs down on a more widespread basis throughout the solar industry,” Westinghouse Solar Chief Executive Officer Barry Cinnamon said in the statement.

“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,” Cinnamon said. “As a consequence, we have turned to the ITC to address this issue.”

Zep is based in San Rafael, California, and Canadian Solar is based in Kitchener, Ontario.

The ITC is an agency in Washington that investigates claims of unfair trade practices and has the authority to ban imports of products that violate U.S. patent rights.

--Editors: Michael Shepard, Andrea Snyder

To contact the reporter on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Shepard at Mshepard7@bloomberg.net


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