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Fairchild, Power Integrations Legal Battles Escalate
Apr 13, 2006
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Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, Maine, U.S.) yesterday filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Power Integrations, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Today, Power integrations responded to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed by Fairchild Semiconductor asserts that Power Integrations' pulse width modulation (PWM) products infringe Fairchild's U.S. Patent No. 5,264,719. Fairchild said it intends to take all possible steps to seek a court order to stop Power Integrations from making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the infringing products into the U.S., as well as obtain monetary damages.

The new lawsuit is a separate legal action from the patent-infringement lawsuit filed by Power Integrations against Fairchild in October 2004 and pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Power Integrations expects that case to go to trial during the third quarter of 2006.

“What Power Integrations has not been able to achieve in the marketplace, they have sought to achieve in the court room. We are forced to respond in kind. However, in our case, Fairchild is asserting a patent that pre-dates Power Integrations’ patents by at least fifteen months,” said Tom Beaver, Fairchild’s executive vice president for Worldwide Sales and Marketing. “We believe Power Integrations’ products are infringing the ’719 patent. We will take all possible steps to bring Power Integrations’ infringement to a stop and to be made whole for the damages they are inflicting.”

Intersil Corporation owns U.S. Patent No. 5,264,719, for High Voltage Lateral Semiconductor Devices, and is a co-plaintiff with Fairchild in the lawsuit. Fairchild has held license rights under the patent since 2001 and more recently secured exclusive rights to assert the patent against Power Integrations.

Power Integrations Responds

Power Integrations (San Jose, California, U.S.) today responded to the patent-infringement lawsuit filed against it by Fairchild. Power Integrations said it was first to invent the technology covered by the patent that is the subject of the lawsuit, and that the lawsuit is therefore without merit. The company also notes that it does not expect Fairchild's suit to have any impact on its own patent-infringement lawsuit against Fairchild.

"We initiated litigation against Fairchild in 2004 because we believe they are infringing on several of our patents, and we remain confident that we will prevail in that case," said Balu Balakrishnan, president and CEO of Power Integrations. "In fact, the filing of this suit by Fairchild - 18 months later and in a different venue - may indicate a lack of confidence in their defenses, especially in light of the recent claim-construction ruling by the judge in the Delaware case."

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