Jury Finds in Favor of Power Integrations in Patent Lawsuit Against Fairchild

October 10, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Power Integrations Inc. won a verdict in its patent-infringement lawsuit against Fairchild Semiconductor. A jury found that Fairchild willfully infringed all four Power Integrations patents asserted in the case, and has awarded Power Integrations damages of approximately $34 million.

A second trial, scheduled to begin on December 4, will address Fairchild's challenges to the validity of the infringed Power Integrations patents. The patents are presumed to be valid, and Fairchild cannot prevail unless it proves the patents are invalid by clear and convincing evidence. Should Fairchild be unable to prove the patents invalid, Power Integrations intends to seek an injunction against the continued manufacture, importation and sale of the infringing parts, as well as enhancement of the damages award based on the jury's finding of willful infringement. The 33 Fairchild parts asserted to have infringed are currently found in such end products as cellphone chargers, DVD players, TV set-top boxes, LCD monitors and others.

"Power Integrations respects the intellectual property of others, and we expect our competitors to do the same," said Balu Balakrishnan, President and CEO of Power Integrations. "We are the leader in our market thanks in large part to the intellectual property that we have worked hard to develop over nearly two decades. This is our third successful effort to protect this intellectual property against unlawful infringement by our competitors, and we will continue making every effort to protect it going forward."

Fairchild responded that it continues to believe it will prevail in the lawsuit. The company also said it will continue offering its full line of pulse-width modulation (PWM) products. The company announced that it was disappointed by the jury's verdict in the first phase, but that it has yet to present all of its defenses to Power Integrations' claims. The company believes that Power Integrations' patent claims are invalid, and its invalidity defenses have yet to be heard by a jury.

The trial in the case has been divided into three phases. The first phase, held last week, was on infringement, the willfulness of any infringement, and damages. The second phase, scheduled to begin December 04, before a different jury, will be on the validity of the Power Integrations patents being asserted. Unenforceability will be handled in a final phase before the court. Fairchild believes it has identified inventions and publications, known as prior art, that pre-date the Power Integrations patents and that Fairchild believes would invalidate the Power Integrations patents.

Final resolution of the matter is not expected until 2007.