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Jury: Fairchild, Power Integrations infringed patents

Posted: 02 May 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:patent infringement? PWM controllers? design infrignment?

Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. said Friday (April 27) that a federal jury found that Power Integrations Inc. infringes a U.S patent held by Fairchild and found that Fairchild infringes two patents held by Power Integrations.

The jury in the U.S. District Court in Delaware found that Power Integrations products, including some LinkSwitch II and LinkSwitch-CV products, infringe the patent, U.S. No. 7,259,972, according to Fairchild. The same jury also found all asserted Fairchild patents valid, Fairchild said.

But the jury also found that some of Fairchild's pulse width modulation (PWM) controllers infringe on two patents held by Power Integrations. The jury found that Fairchild did not infringe on two other patents Power Integrations had asserted against the company, Fairchild said.

Fairchild said it has already introduced next-generation, replacement PWM controllers and that the company would be contacting customers about which products are affected by this lawsuit.

The verdict concluded the first phase of trial in the litigation which began in 2008, Fairchild said. Willfulness and damages in the case will be determined in a second phase, which has yet to be scheduled and may occur after appeals of the first phase, the company said.

"I am delighted and gratified that the jury has affirmed the validity of our patents," said Tom Yang, senior vice president of technology for Fairchild's Power Conversion, Industrial and Automotive products division, in a statement. Yang is the sole inventor of the patent found to be infringed.

Fairchild and Power Integrations are involved in three other patent lawsuits. Fairchild said it is asserting patent infringement claims against Power Integrations in Suzhou, China. The companies currently await a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in their appeal of a 2004 lawsuit and the companies are also asserting patent infringement claims against each other in a case scheduled to be tried next year in federal court in San Francisco, Fairchild said.

A spokesman for Power Integrations did not immediately respond to request for comment.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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