U.S. Patent Office To Reexamine Validity Of Remaining Power Integrations Patent Claim Against Fairchild

April 26, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Fairchild Semiconductor announced the latest in a string of decisions in which it claims that the United States Patent and Trademark Office questioned the validity of Power Integrations patents asserted against Fairchild.

On March 20, 2009, the Patent Office granted Fairchild’s request for ex parte reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 7,110,270 and concluded that the prior art presents a "substantial new question" as to the validity of claims 6-9. Moreover, the Patent Office determined that "the record is unclear regarding the reason those claims were (originally) allowed." In May 2008 Power Integrations accused Fairchild of infringing the same claims. Fairchild has denied any infringement and asserted that the claims are invalid.

The Patent Office recently issued a number of office actions rejecting claims that Power Integrations has accused Fairchild of infringing. On December 3, 2008, the Patent Office issued a final office action rejecting claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,249,876 and the following day issued a final office action rejecting claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,107,851. In February, the Patent Office rejected Power Integrations’ attempt to amend those claims and noted that the rejected claims will be cancelled unless a timely appeal is filed. The Patent Office has also issued a second Office Action, rejecting claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,229,366.

Fairchild has always believed that Power Integrations’ claims are invalid and is pleased that the Patent Office is critically reviewing them. The company hopes that the Patent Office’s actions will end Power Integrations’ allegations that Fairchild infringed Power Integrations’ patents.

Power Integrations has thus far declined to offer an official comment on these developments.