In the litigation between silicon supplier Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. and SolarWorld Industries Sachsen GmbH, a subsidiary of SolarWorld AG, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan decided in the evening of July 13, 2016 to grant the motion for summary judgment filed by Hemlock in the first court instance.
This ruling is no final judgment in this case, but means that the court will decide on the claims made by Hemlock on its own, i. e. without involving a jury. A date on which such judgement will be announced has not yet been set by the court.
If the court should decide in favor of the plaintiff, SolarWorld Industries Sachsen GmbH will appeal against this judgment of the first instance in the United States.
Inspite of this court decision, SolarWorld AG continues to assume that Hemlock will not be able to actually enforce any claims in Germany. There are anti-trust concerns under European law regarding the effectiveness of the underlying supply contracts. If a potential ruling by a U.S. court was to be enforced in Germany, Hemlock would have to initiate a recognition process at German courts according to Sec. 722 (1) of the German code of civil procedure. This would require the existence of a final – i.e. non-appealable – judgement from the United States. Moreover, in such a process, the compliance of fundamental principles of German law would have to be considered in reaching a verdict. According to settled opinion in jurisdiction, European trust law is a fundamental principle of the German legal system. Thus, SolarWorld AG is optimistic that such a procedure of recognition and enforcement would fail to be concluded successfully in Germany.