Shoals Technologies Group Inc. has filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Hikam America Inc. and Voltage LLC, alleging that the companies engaged in the illegal importation of photovoltaic components that infringe two patents owned by Shoals related to improved connectors for solar cells.
“Shoals has invested millions of dollars over our 27-year history to develop innovative products and technologies that lower installation costs and improve reliability and safety in the electric solar, storage and EV charging markets,” said Jeff Tolnar, interim president and CEO. Swarms. “While we welcome healthy competition – especially one that improves the industry – we take our patents very seriously and vigorously defend them to protect our intellectual property.
“As a US company that designs and manufactures in Tennessee, Alabama and California, we hope the ITC will protect our intellectual property rights and support domestic manufacturing and job creation by banning what we believe are infringing products from entering the US market,” he adds.
Shoals is asking the ITC to initiate an investigation into the alleged violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to prevent the importation of the allegedly infringing products. The complaint requests that the ITC issue a limited exclusion and cease-and-desist order against Hikam, Voltage and related entities to prohibit the importation of equipment, components and products that allegedly infringe Shoals’ patents.
Invented and manufactured in the USA, Shoals’ patented Big Lead Assembly (BLA) connectors and wire harnesses with fuses are designed to reduce or eliminate the need for junction boxes, reducing the amount of wire and other materials required. The patented connectors are cheaper to manufacture and transport than alternatives, are easy to use and allow for simpler configuration of components in the solar field, says Shoals.