Could patents bring solar power companies more revenue?

October 9, 2009

The high tech industry regularly sees lawsuits fly over intellectual property rights.

Time will tell if clean technology will see a similar play, but a settlement this week between California-based solar power company SunPower Corp and SunLink Corp may shed light on things to come.

In February 2008, SunPower sued SunLink, saying SunLink had violated patents protecting several of SunPower’s rooftop systems. Under the settlement, SunPower licensed its patents to SunLink but did not disclose the financial details.

Some believe that solar power companies who successfully defend their intellectual property could win additional revenue streams. That could benefit SunPower and innovative companies both with upstream and downstream technologies, Deutsche Bank analyst Steve O’Rourke wrote in a note.

We were wondering what role readers think IP and patent lawsuits will play as the solar industry continues to develop. Do you think they will help bigger companies defend their market share? Or could a litigious environment stifle newcomers to the industry?

5 comments

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“Do you think they will help bigger companies defend their market share? Or could a litigious environment stifle newcomers to the industry?”

Duh – As an inventor who used to be in a big Godzilla company (RCA/GE), its the same old story: Massive corporations suck up my and every other person’s patents like vacuum cleaners but don’t know how to innovate. The patents sit on the shelf collecting dust. Little guys like you and me and their small companies tiptoe in the footsteps of the dinosaurs, breaking new grounds before they go broke, sell out or get squashed by the corporate Godzillas and their whorish corporate lawyers.

Posted by Jim Whitehead | Report as abusive

If by “more revenue” you mean more lawsuits, then maybe.
But will it bring a LEGITIMATE revenue stream? Never.
Patents these days are weapons, nothing more.

Posted by well | Report as abusive

Hi,
As the government of every country supports every discovery or invention which supports environmental growth and lessens the pollution. Similarly the fact is that solar companies will for sure earn back more profits and revenue.

Its just a case of dog eat dog. This goes on in all industry. Why would solar be any different?

Please dont let this happen to small buisness.patents are good if used to share product

Posted by dog | Report as abusive