Power Integrations, Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor Int., Inc. et al.


Docket No. 2015-1329, -1388

PROST, SCHALL, CHEN
December 12, 2016

Brief Summary: Opinion addresses several grounds of appeal and cross-appeal in a long-running dispute (see, e.g., Power Int., FC 2015 and 2013) relating to the power supply controller chip market (e.g., claim construction, induced infringement, anticipation and obviousness).

Summary: This opinion addresses several grounds of appeal and cross-appeal in a long-running dispute (see, e.g., Power Int., FC 2015 and 2013) relating to the power supply controller chip market (“the ‘brains’ of the power supply”). The holdings in the opinion are summarized here: 1) the jury verdict that the asserted claims of US 6,249,876 were not anticipated as “frequency jittering” was construed by the DC was affirmed (“While Fairchild’s argument is creative, it failes to account for the temporal aspect of the [DC’s] claim construction.”); 2) the jury verdict that Fairchild induced infringement (§ 271(b)) (literal infringement of claim 1 of US 6,107,851 and ‘876 claims 1 and 21 (as well as DOE for another product) not appealed) of the asserted claims of the ‘876 patent and ‘851 patents was vacated because the DC’s jury instruction incorrectly stated the law on inducement to infringe (The “instruction left the jury with the incorrect understanding that a party may be liable for induced infringement even where it does not successfully communicate with and induce a third-part infringer” which “may be proven by circumstantial evidence”, acknowledging PI’s “claim for induced infringement was a close call.” (Global-Tech, US 2011; MEMC Elec., FC 2005; Astornet Techs., FC 2015 (accuser must show: a) 3rd party direct infringement; b) accused party must have induced those infringing acts; and, c) accused party must have known the acts it induced constituted infringement)); 3) the jury verdict that the asserted claims of US 7,834,605 were not anticipated was reversed due in large part to expert testimony; 4) the DC’s construction regarding US 7,259,972 was affirmed; 5) the DC’s claim construction of and the jury’s verdict that the asserted ‘972 claims would not have been obvious was affirmed (CC: “Simlar language in different claims may be construed differently based on the context in which it is used and other intrinsic evidence.” (Wilson Sporting Goods, FC 2006); Obv: “[T]he jury is permitted to make credibility determinations and believe the witness if considers more trustworthy.” (MobileMedia, FC 2015)) 6) the jury’s verdict that PI infringed the ‘972 claims under the DOE was reversed (accepting PI’s claim vitiation arguments “that a finding of infringement under the [DOE] would vitiate the requirement that the claimed feedback signals be ‘distinct.’” (Lockheed, FC 2003; Warner-Jenkinson, US 1997)); 7) the DC’s grant of PI’s motion for a permanent injunction was vacated since the FC panel “significantly reduced the scope of Fairchild’s infringement liability in this case” (“We leave it to the [DC] to determine in the first instance if a permanent injunction is appropriate in view of Fairchild’s infringement liability.”); and 8) the DC’s denial of Fairchild’s motion for a permanent injunction is moot since the judgment of infringement of the ‘972 patent (the only finding of infringement) was reversed (see #6 above).

This entry was posted in Anticipation (35 USC 102), Claim Vitiation, Doctrine of equivalents, Inducement to Infringe, Infringement, Obviousness. Bookmark the permalink.

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