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Fairchild To Appeal Infringement Ruling

Mon, 07/26/2010 - 6:25am
Manufacturing.net

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Fairchild Semiconductor Inc. said Monday that it plans to appeal a federal court's ruling that the chip maker willfully infringed on Power Integrations Inc.'s patents.

The U.S. District Court in Delaware made the ruling on Thursday. The decision is the latest development in a long-running patent infringement fight between the two chip makers.

Fairchild said it was disappointed in the decision, calling it "inconsistent" with the U.S. Patent Office's rejections of Power Integration's patents after re-examining them at Fairchild's request.

Fairchild said Power Integrations even canceled one of the patent claims found to have been willfully infringed by a court.

Fairchild said the ruling won't affect business because it stopped selling products in dispute in 2007 and has replaced them with others that both companies agree don't infringe on Power Integration's patents.

On Thursday, the federal court found that Fairchild willfully infringed on the patents and "engaged in the blatant copying of Power Integrations' patented features."

Power Integrations said a court first found that Fairchild infringed on four of its patents after a jury trial in 2006, with subsequent legal setbacks for Fairchild since then.

Power Integrations said it was awarded $6.1 million in damages plus interest in December 2008. A permanent injunction against more than 100 Fairchild products was issued then and still remains.

The company said it will seek more damages after last week's ruling of willful infringement.

Fairchild and Power are suing each other in three other patent infringement lawsuits.

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