• Sollega, a provider of modular solar panel mounting solutions, has taken steps to protect its intellectual property. Those steps include federally registering a trademark and obtaining a U.S. Patent.

San Francisco-based Sollega, Inc., specializes in the design and manufacturing of ballasted commercial flat-roof and ground mount racking solutions. While much of the focus of the solar industry has been on the rapidly decreasing prices for solar panels (for example, see our earlier post here), Sollega is looking to reduce the cost associated with a different part of the solar equation: installation. Sollega states that its modular mounting racks with pre-set inclines offer the potential to more quickly install solar panels and thus achieve substantial savings in labor costs.

Sollega sells the FastRack510, a product that provides solar panel mounting to flat roofs and can be adjusted to achieve either 5° or 10° tilt angles for the solar panels. The FastRack510 is molded as a single piece from lightweight high density polyethylene plastic (HDPE). As a ballasted mounting system, Sollega states that the FastRack510 typically avoids the use of fasteners that puncture a rooftop. Sollega promotes a simple three-step process for installing a solar array using the FastRack510 product:

Start-ups and small companies should take steps to protect their intellectual property, and Sollega appears to have taken initial steps in that regard. Sollega filed for federal registration of a trademark, “Sollega.com”, in June of 2015. A trademark identifies a single source of goods, so use of the Sollega.com trademark on products or product packaging will identify Sollega.com as that source. Sollega registered this trademark for two different classes of goods: Class 19 (non-metallic building materials) for “Non-metal structures for mounting solar panels,” and Class 20 (plastic goods) for “Non-metal solar panel mounts.”

Sollega was also recently granted U.S. Patent No. 9,831,817 (the ‘817 Patent), entitled “Solar Panel Mounting Base and System for Solar Panel Installation.” The company’s founder and CEO, Elie Rothschild, is the named inventor of the ‘817 Patent. The application for the ‘817 Patent was filed in June of 2015, and the patent issued in November 2017. The ‘817 Patent describes a ballasted solar panel mounting base:

Figure 5 of the ‘817 Patent Showing a Solar Panel Mounting Base with Ballast Blocks

By taking steps to protect its intellectual property, Sollega now has greater control over the manufacturing, use, and sale of products using either the Sollega.com trademark or the technology patented in the ‘817 Patent.