Power-One Claims Favorable Ruling in Patent-Litigation Hearing Involving Artesyn Technologies

March 22, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Power-One, Inc. issued a press release stating that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, has completed the Markman hearing and issued its claim construction ruling. According to the company, the ruling decides a number of important issues in favor of Power-One and strengthens the company’s patent infringement claims as it proceeds to a jury trial.

Power-One claims that the Court’s ruling rejects a defense raised by Artesyn Technologies (a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co.) that Power-One’s patents are invalid as being indefinite. The Court is alleged to have denied Artesyn’s defense by finding that the claim term point-of-load ("POL") regulator, which is an integral part of all the patent claims, has a legally definite meaning. The Court is said to have ruled that POLs are a "known device in the art," and that "This evidence suggests that POLs were well known devices whose locations and functions relative to other components was understood by those of ordinary skill in the art." For the hotly contested claim term POL, the Court is said by Power-One to have wholly adopted Power-One’s claim construction, finding that Power-One was legally correct. The Court is also claimed to have established the meaning of numerous other contested terms in the patent claims.

Bill Yeates, CEO, commented, "The Court’s ruling is a big positive for our litigation and validates our belief in the broad meaning and scope of our patent claims. We have asserted in the litigation that Artesyn infringes 82 claims in 4 patents. This ruling provides very substantial support for our assertion that Artesyn is infringing Power-One’s patents with its PMBus compliant DPL20C point of load converter. We fully expect the jury to find that Artesyn is infringing our patents when the trial is held in August".

Yeates continued, "As this lawsuit indicates and as we have been communicating to our investors for some time now, our Z-One® technology is the most innovative, advanced, and feature-rich technology for this power marketplace. Since we started our work in this ground-breaking technology, Power-One has been leading digital power IP development to combine power management and power conversion in a system. Due to major developments in the past few years, we now have many products which effectively address the needs of customers within this market."

The four Power-One patents in the lawsuit generally concern digital power management and control of POLs on the circuit board. Power-One has incorporated this technology into its Z-One products and system architecture, which allows for the central control of distributed point of load power regulators. Power-One is seeking an injunction to stop Artesyn from selling infringing products, along with other remedies. Trial is scheduled for August, 2007.

Neither Artysen or Emerson have commented on the recent ruling as of the date of this story.