Batteries and Portable Power

Jury Says Fairchild Infringed Power Integrations’ Patents and Awards $105 Million

Power Integrations, Inc. announced a verdict in one of its ongoing patent infringement lawsuits against Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc.. After a month-long trial in federal district court in San Francisco, a jury found yesterday that Fairchild willfully infringed two of Power Integrations’ patents, and awarded Power Integrations damages of $105 million. Based on the finding of willfulness, the Court could enhance the award up to three times the amount specified by the jury. The jury also denied all counterclaims by Fairchild alleging infringement by Power Integrations.

In a statement, Fairchild said it was very disappointed by the outcome and will challenge several aspects of the verdict during post-trial review and any appeal. Fairchild said the infringement finding was in error and failed to account for differences in the accused products. The company also said it was particularly concerned by several elements of the damages award, including the sufficiency of the damages evidence and Power Integrations’ unique damages theory. Products in the case include chips used in switch-mode power supplies made by the company’s System General subsidiary.

Fairchild commented: In a previous patent infringement case between the two companies, a jury awarded Power Integrations $34 million in damages in 2006. Virtually all of that damages award was eventually thrown out by a 2013 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Fairchild said Tuesday’s damages award suffered from similar legal and evidentiary defects, and that it expected to challenge the award, as well as other aspects of the verdict, on similar grounds.

Based on the jury's findings, Power Integrations stated that it intends to seek a permanent injunction against the more than 140 infringing parts implicated in the decision (and any additional parts with substantially identical infringing circuitry). The statement from Power Integrations continued: "Today's decision follows three previous findings of infringement against Fairchild and its System General (SG) subsidiary in cases brought by Power Integrations. In 2006, Fairchild was found in another federal court to infringe four of Power Integrations' patents, resulting in a permanent injunction against more than 100 infringing Fairchild products. The court later found the infringement to be willful, describing Fairchild's behavior as "blatant copying". Also in 2006, the International Trade Commission found that SG infringed two of Power Integrations' patents (including one of the same patents involved in the latest verdict) and later issued an exclusion order barring the infringing products from the U.S. market.

"In 2012, Fairchild was again found to violate two of the same patents found to be infringed in the 2006 district-court decision. Power Integrations is presently seeking an injunction against approximately 80 Fairchild products implicated in that ruling."

Commented Balu Balakrishnan, president and CEO of Power Integrations: "Today's decision marks the fourth time Fairchild and its SG subsidiary have been found to infringe our patents. We hope this latest finding and the accompanying damage award will cause Fairchild to finally re-examine their business practices and begin respecting the intellectual property that we have worked so hard to develop over the past 25 years."

Power Integrations, Inc. , Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc.
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