Applied Materials, Inc. today released the following statement regarding its thin film solar technology:
- Applied Materials believes that its SunFab thin film solar tandem junction technology does not infringe European Patent No. EP 0 871 979 issued to the University of Neuchatel (the "Neuchatel patent"). Applied Materials' unique and proprietary manufacturing process and tandem junction cell structure are the result of substantial research and development. The SunFab line is the only integrated production line for manufacturing thin film solar modules using ultra-large 5.7 m2 glass panels.
- Applied Materials' belief of non-infringement is based in part on differences between the SunFab tandem junction technology (as verified by scientific analyses such as Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and the claims of the Neuchatel patent.
- In addition, the Neuchatel patent is already the subject of four separate opposition proceedings in the European Patent Office challenging its validity, based on prior art that was not disclosed or considered during the European patent examination process.