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An Analysis of CIGS Solar Cell Technology
Volume 6, Issue 1

James W. Beard, Law & Bioscience Project
Albert P. Halluin, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, LLC

Copper indium gallium selenium photovoltaics (CIGS) have already demonstrated a number of advantages over classic silicon-based and alternative compounds, including the production of thin, flexible sheets of solar cell modules that are rapidly approaching the effectiveness and cost-per-watt efficiency of traditional solar cells. The venture capital community has taken notice, and invested substantially in several key firms. As these firms (which include Nanosolar, Solyndra, HelioVolt, Miasolé, and Honda Soltec) approach development of a cell module line capable of mass-production, their fabrication capacity and intellectual property portfolios will dramatically impact their ability to bring a commercially feasible product to market. This article will analyze the current industry landscape by considering the patent portfolios and venture capital funding of key firms in order to determine the potential for licensing obstacles and disputes as CIGS nanotechnology moves from laboratory to consumer market.

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